What is Co-Parenting?

by - November 05, 2018


It’s when you and your other half work together to raise your child after separation/divorce. In most cases, the “working together” part can be tough and near impossible at times: fighting over what is right for the child or fighting over who’s turn it is, etc.

I just want to point out that raising a child with your ex-partner does not have to be difficult. It’s all up to you. Both of you. 

Listed below are just a few of the things parents have told me they wished they knew/did when they first made the separation, and what I, myself, have experienced with my partner and his Ex.

Making decisions concerning your child.

When a decision comes up and you think it’s okay not to include your “baby mama/daddy,” or if someone tells you that it's not a big deal to include the other parent, then you’ve just made a huge "no, no." Any decision, whether it may be huge or small, I beg you, always, always, always include your child’s other parent. Put yourself in their shoes, how would you feel if they made any sort of decision without including you first? Whether they agree or disagree with you is the least important part because the thing that matters, is that you had the courtesy to include them in the situation.

Arguments.


Arguments are okay. Sometimes they’re healthy. Sometimes they’re inevitable. But what’s not okay? Withholding your children from the other parent or using your child as a “weapon.” The only time you should “keep” your children from the other parent, is if your child is at risk of danger, etc. It is never okay to keep the other parent out of the picture just because the two of you are arguing. Revenge and being petty is not the answer, and in the end, you’re hurting the children just as much, if not more, than the other parent.

Love.

Your child just wants to be loved and to feel safe. You should be setting an example for your children and show them, that no matter what happens, their parents will be a team and be there for them no matter what; you should be showing them how to be respectful, kind, and generous (because if ever they're in situation where they don't want to be in, they'll behave appropriately and respectfully - it all starts with your own behavior).

Moving on.

At some point, you have to realize and accept that your ex is going to meet someone else, and it may end up being serious. At some level, you have to respect that, but also, you have to make sure that your Ex respects your wishes to not introduce someone they are dating until after a certain period of time (if that is what you wish)- i.e. when the new couple establishes the seriousness of their relationship. 

But after they establish that their relationship is not just a fling (they’ve moved in together, they’re planning a life together, they're engaged), you have to accept the fact that that person is going to be in your children’s life from here on out (I’m not saying you have to right away). Instead of making their lives hell, be grateful that your children have another person to look up to, and has another person to love and care for them.

Remember, your children deserve the best from BOTH parents.

“Even though my parents are no longer together, they worked together and were always there for me,” 

doesn't that sound better than:

“when my parents split it was horrible, they fought over me ALL the time and at some point, I wasn’t allowed to see my dad/mom…”

Your children should come before your nasty feelings towards the other parent. Be the person your children will look up to, respect, and would want to be. Things will only be difficult if you make it so.

"Co-parenting is not a competition between two homes; it’s a collaboration of parents doing what is best for the kids." - Heather Hetchler


I am by no means trying to tell you how to co-parent or what to do in a similar situation. It is completely okay if you do not agree with what you read here today. Read the full disclosure here.

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4 comments

  1. This is so true, I think there should be more advice and support out there for co-parents considering it is the norm nowadays. Especially on how to cope when they meet someone else!

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  2. I love the perspective you give in this. It’s hard to keep focused sometimes but it’s really about the kids in the end.

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  3. I totally agree. Our children should always come first. I have friends who are now separated from their other half, some are still in good terms, some are not. Sad to think they can’t set aside their differences for their kids. It’s true that kids will be benefited from this co-parenting and they’ll feel loved. Nice post!

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  4. This is super important and shows the child how to navigate difficult relationships. I think it will encourage them to pursue healthy relationships in the future as well.

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