Good Co-Parenting Should Not Occur Just During the Holidays
Toward the end of the year, many publications offer tips on how to survive the holiday season as divorced parents. Although such annual articles provide useful advice on holiday arrangements for children, divorcing parents should aim to develop effective co-parenting strategies that extend all year long.
The holiday season is a major, emotional period of the year, but it is important to remember that co-parenting should sustain beyond Thanksgiving or Christmas. Communication between both parents is the key to successful co-parenting. Just like during Christmas or New Year’s, children should regularly have the opportunity to spend quality time with both parents. For example, working together to set a schedule with consistent drop off and pick up times will help kids feel more secure.
Divorce is a stressful process that can make it challenging for even well-meaning parents to cooperate. However, divorced spouses must set aside any feelings of bitterness or anger in order to develop a co-parenting plan that meets the needs of their children. Modeling respect, cooperation and polite behavior sets a positive tone for co-parenting. When children see their parents getting along, they are more likely to adjust easily to divorce.
Additionally, co-parenting plans should be geared toward the age of the child. Younger children need reassurance that they have two parents who love them no matter what. On the other hand, teens might require more flexibility and freedom in their schedules to accommodate their many activities. For some divorced spouses, even thinking of their co-parent might be painful. However, it is important to compartmentalize such feelings and commit to communicating with your ex for the benefit of your child. Co-parenting ensures that children share a close bond with both parents.
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