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Seven simple ways to co-parent

Parenting - By Esther Muchene
Whenever the child is spending time with the other parent, allow them to spend quality and uninterrupted time (Shutterstock)

Having a child is one of the greatest joys a person can ever experience. And on the other side, co-parenting is one of the hardest things to do.

Co-parenting, however, varies because some couples are still together but one seems to be absent from their children’s lives for whatever reasons, while others are separated and trying to be there for the kids.

Truthfully, there is no guide on how co-parenting should be done.

Whether the parents are together or separated they still need to be involved in their children’s lives.

Imagine forcing someone to be present in their child’s life or being denied access to your child just because things are not okay between you as the parents.

As parent we need to be reminded that it’s all about the child and not an opportunity to punish our partners or make them look irrelevant.

We understand that there are people who you wish to never see in your life but life happened and they are here to stay. You made your bed you must lay on it.

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So, it is time to put on your big girl and big boy pants and show up for your kid.

1.Focus on the child or children

It is important to remember that co-parenting is for the benefit of your child not an avenue to resolve your issues. You have to create a stable environment for the kids.

If you feel like this is giving you trouble, you can consider consulting a counselor to help you through.

2.Create a working schedule

If you live apart, it is important that both of you (parents) participate in making a visitation or time schedule on when you will be with the kids.

This will help avoid drama and disappointment on the child’s part.

It is important for both parents to have special activities that they take part in with their kids just to know more about their children and make them feel loved by their parents.

3.Observe mindfulness

As tempting as it may be for you to be the favorite parent, you shouldn’t heed to the temptation of shaming the other parent in the presence of your child.

It’s hard not to talk ill of an abusive or absent partner but for the child’s sake, just keep it between the both of you.

They really don’t need to know how much of a donkey their mother or father is. If that is truly the case, the truth will eventually come out and the child will see it for themselves.

Let it be all about the child, about their school, health and any other related updates (Shutterstock)

4.Set boundaries

Whenever the child is spending time with the other parent it is important to give them space to bond.

They are their child as much as they are yours.

Remember it’s not a stakeout. Allow each parent to spend quality and uninterrupted time with the child. Also let’s not play detective by digging into our co-patents dating lives.

Those at the back, was that loud enough?

5.Keep it professional

Who doesn’t want to yell at the parent who forgot to pack lunch or pay for the camping trip immediately they meet?

As tempting as it is to make your co-parent look bad, just handle the issues in the absence of the child. Make sure you are not giving your co-parent a hard time.

6.Make the rules together

We all want to be the cool parent but children need guidelines which have to be implemented by both parents.

You both have to be the bad cop at one point because kids are smarter than we assume they are and if they go unchecked, they will outsmart you. Make sure you, as the parents, always maintain a united front.

7.Create a positive environment

Both parents have to create a positive environment that will ensure ease of communication.

Let it be all about the child, about their school, health and any other related updates. Remember, your child starts learning about relationships from you. No one would like their children to have unhealthy relationships in the future because of what they saw/learnt from their parents.

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