Bruce C. Zivley, Attorney at Law

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Constructive co-parenting strategies

We frequently write about some of the unique parenting challenges that adults often face when they opt to co-parent their children in two separate households. It is true that co-parenting with your former romantic partner can be frustrating, complicated and hectic at times. However, there are strategies that you may be able to employ in order to better ensure that your co-parenting relationship is as healthy and effective as possible, regardless of what the particulars of your child custody arrangement happen to be.

For starters, it is important to cultivate a sincere desire to have a healthy and effective co-parenting relationship. It is possible that if you are holding onto some negative feelings about your co-parent that you may be unintentionally and unconsciously sabotaging some of your interactions. Focusing on the development of a healthy, effective co-parenting relationship will help to inform your choices. In turn, your intentioned choices will become more likely to lead you in the direction you are seeking.

In addition, it is important to be flexible when possible. American adults tend to live complex and busy lives. Even if your co-parent is unwilling to reciprocate your flexibility, your flexible approach will serve as good modeling for your children and will hopefully leave you less stressed in the long-run.

Finally, keeping the concept of wellbeing in mind can help to cultivate a healthier, more effective co-parenting relationship. If a decision needs to be made, think about how the consequences of that decision will affect the wellbeing of everyone involved. This approach will help you to focus less on tension and more on the ultimate goal of fostering your children’s wellbeing as well as your own.

Source: The Huffington Post, “9 Ways to Co-Parent Like a Grown-Up,” Emma Bathie, March 28, 2014

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