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Here are six key things to have in mind when co-parenting this holiday season


Also known as joint parenting or shared parenting, co-parenting is when you raise children as a single parent due to a divorce, separation or sharing custody. For those who have experienced it know all too well how stressful it can be not just to the parents but the children.

This complicated arrangement is greatly influenced by the reciprocal interactions of each parent which helps if both parents are on the same page. Problem is, it is not always the case. You will find one parent is stern and the other is permissive which can lead to the risk of developmental problems in your children.

For this to work both parents should be patient, have empathy and communicate. While it may not be easy considering their grounds for being apart, here are a few pointers that can help co-parenting become a success.

Have a unified approach

To be able to tame and take care of your children, parents should put their differences aside and unite. It is common for parents who have separated to live totally different lives than they were and this could greatly affect the children hence the importance of coming together and agreeing on crucial aspects of raising your children.

Set consistent rules

Children are very clever and if you don’t work together they will collude and run the show. Don’t let guilt get into your judgment. Children need routine and structure. Things like bed time, meals, doing homework etc should be consistent no matter which parent they’re with. Stick to the rules.

Don’t talk ill of your partner

It’s hard not to tell your kids the truth about their father or mother but refrain from getting into deeper issues that can affect the relationship with the other parent negatively. Talk about how your partner is a great parent and how much he or she loves them and cares for them. To prove it, have a few photos of the kids with your partner in the house to act as a very important reminder that they are loved and valued by the two of you.

Do what works for the kids

Let this always sound in your head, ‘it is for the kids.’ Co-parenting means making a lot of sacrifices for the sake of the kids. Just because the two of you are at loggerheads remember the kids love you both equally so make it work. If it means moving to be closer to where your partner is, do so to give the child the chance to grow up with both parents.

Be understanding

Things don’t always go as planned. Be open minded, flexible, understanding and mindful because things change occasionally. This is not the time to bash your partner in front of the kids.

Talk to each other

No matter how emotionally painful it may be to see or talk to your ex, it is important to discuss challenges and difficulties when raising the children. Don’t use your children as a primary source of information.

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