It has been known that divorce is not an easy process, both for spouses and children. In most cases, this process is full of conflicts between parents. Sadly, it also has a negative impact on children. In fact, even though they are divorced, the responsibility as parents for raising children does not necessarily disappear. One of the best solutions for divorced couples is the co-parenting system.
What is Co-Parenting?
In the co-parenting style, both parents are expected to play an active role in raising children and be involved in their daily lives. With this parenting style, the needs of the children can be fulfilled and they are allowed to have a close relationship with both parents, even though they no longer live together. There are a number of benefits of co-parenting for children, including:
- Children feel safe and loved by both parents, so they easily adapt to new lifestyles after divorce and have better self-confidence.
- Have better mental and emotional health.
- Have a good example from their parents, including the ability to solve issues. They can see that parents who have separated can work along well, so that they are used to solving issues effectively and with minimal conflict.
- Children still have a consistent life. In the co-parenting style, both parents still apply the same rules, punishments and rewards to children, even if they are not in the same household.
It is worth noting that co-parenting does not always run smoothly. Do not be surprised if there are challenges, especially if you and your ex-spouse went through a contentious divorce. In this case, heartache, anger and grudges against your ex may still be there.
To make this parenting style succeed, you should change your perspective. First of all, you can start by building a new relationship with your ex for the sake of your child. Try not to link it to your relationship with your ex.
It is important for both you and your partner to have empathy, patience and a willingness to communicate openly so that this parenting style can be successfully implemented. As for the child, there are two important factors that help them adapt to a new environment after the divorce of their parents.
The first one is the existence of a meaningful and routine relationship with both parents. Furthermore, children are protected from conflict between their parents.
How to make Co-Parenting Successful?
As a divorced couple, there are several ways to make co-parenting successful, as follows:
The first one is to separate your emotions from your actions. While it is normal to still have some bad feelings from the divorce process, you do not have to show them. Try to show them somewhere else, such as talking to friends or family, exercising, and pursuing hobbies. Make sure not to show them to your child. Aside from that, you should also avoid placing children in a difficult position, for instance, by making them an intermediary. Try to get in touch with your ex through face to face, email, chat and telephone. In addition, make sure to avoid badmouthing your ex in front of your children.
The second one is to improve communication with your ex. Try to think of your ex as a business partner in raising children. You can communicate like a business partner (always polite and neutral), be a good listener, and restrain yourself from overreacting to your ex. If you want, you can also communicate regularly with your ex. However, it should be limited for the sake of your child only.
The third one is to work as a team. It is important for you to apply consistency to children. For instance, in matters of daily activity schedules, rules that must be obeyed, and disciplining children. Try to make decisions together on important matters, such as education and health.
The last one is to help children to go through life transitions in two homes. For instance, when the child is going to live at your ex’s place, remind them a few weeks before or help the child pack their things, especially for younger children. When they return to your place, try to create a special routine, such as providing some quiet time first or preparing their favorite foods, or giving yourself space if you feel it is necessary.
It should be noted that divorce and the period after that is not only difficult for you but also for your children. Therefore, implementing co-parenting is one solution for them. With this parenting style, children will feel that they still have a family and parents. In addition, implementing this parenting style can also make them live a more positive and happy life.
What are the Impacts of Co-Parenting on Child Psychologists?
Co-parenting is known to have a huge impact on children’s psychology. If it is implemented effectively, it can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels of children. Apart from that, it can also reduce conflicts between parents that negatively impact their children and provide stability to children.
According to some studies, children can develop a variety of psychological, physical, and behavioral symptoms when exposed to parental conflict. For instance, when parents fight, children may blame themselves and experience changes in their emotions, general behavior, or behavior at school. Besides, conflicting parents may conflict even more with their children, affecting the parent-child relationship.
These issues can be avoided with cooperative co-parenting. With it, children are allowed to bond with both parents without feeling guilty, stressed or anxious.
Children Get a Sense of Security
Children can benefit from knowing that both of their parents put them as their priority and want to spend time with them. In addition, they gain a sense of security when they have a consistent routine or set of rules to follow.
Do not forget that parents are models of communication and issue solving skills for children. Children can grow up with less conflict in their lives if co-parenting is successful.