Youth Alternatives: Making co-parenting work

Published: Apr. 26, 2018 at 8:47 AM CDT
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In our bi-weekly series with Cheyenne Youth Alternatives we discuss how you can make co-parenting work, no matter the situation.

Co-parenting can be tough. No matter what the circumstances might be that brought you and your partner here, there are ways to make it work. It’s not going to be perfect of course and in some circumstances it might not even be possible but no matter what the situation is we can still set a good example for our children through our own behavior.

-Separate out the emotions

After a break-up or divorce, emotions are going to be high. Don’t let your anger and hurt influence how you handle the situation, particularly in front of your children. When you need to vent or let off some steam, do it with a friend not your child. We want to set a good example for our children and this means acting respectfully no matter what.

-Foster communication

Communication is the most essential part of a good co-parenting strategy. This means communicating with the other in the way you would hope they communicate with you. When things get especially heated, approach the interaction as a business partnership. You both have expectations that will need to be worked out as professionally as possible, but the ultimate goal should be doing what’s best for your child.

-Act as a team

Even when you don’t feel like one, act like a team as much as possible, and especially when in front of your child. When kids see a divided front, they’re more than likely going to try and take advantage. No matter how heated things might be behind the scenes, don’t let it get in the way of making decisions for your child.

-Focus on your child

No matter what the situation might be, always keep the focus on what is best for your child. Don’t let your bad feelings or your desire to win distract you from this. If this is your focus, everything else should fall into place.