Co-Parenting is a common term for families going through separation or divorce. What it looks like between each family is as unique as a person’s fingerprint, it looks different for everyone. Most times, co-parenting comes with many challenges within the family system, no matter the age of the children involved.
Without putting too much pressure on yourself as the parent, it is extremely important to be mindful of the approaches you take with co-parenting to minimize the negative feelings that can occur within the children of the family. Most parents usually have no clue where to start, and huge things like legal fees, scheduling, and emotions towards the situation as a whole can easily sway how you feel inwardly and outwardly, which is something that children usually pick up on whether they know what’s happening or not.
Most parents/caregivers feel overwhelmed when trying to figure out where to start. There are many resources parents can use to help ease the transition of separation or divorce. Child and family therapists trained in coparenting and family transitions are a great tool to use for support and guidance. Books such as “Between Two Homes” can be very helpful with parenting in multiple homes. The book provides a step by step guide to navigating these changes, or helping parents that have been struggling for some time get back on track or change their approach. At New Roots, this book is one of our FAVORITE resources. The book covers most topics that one would think of when going through a change like divorce such as communication skills between parents, obstacles to coparenting, children’s issues, and the do’s and don’ts of having children involved in divorce.
Some of the rules for co-parenting include:
1. At all times, the decisions made by parents will be for your child’s psychological, spiritual, and physical well-being and safety.
2. Do make and confirm parenting-time arrangements beforehand between the parents without involving your child.
3. Do notify each other in a timely manner of any need to deviate from the schedule between homes, including canceling time with your child, rescheduling, and punctuality.
4. Do communicate with your co-parent and make similar rules in reference to discipline, routines, sleeping arrangements, and schedules between homes.
The Between Two Homes curriculum can be learned via the book and workbook, or via their online module (great for auditory learners as well).
We love giving these resources to our clients, who tend to find them very informative.
Here is a link to find more information on “Between Two Homes” and Author Bradley S. Craig, LMSW-IPR, CFLE