When you and your spouse decided that it was time for a divorce, you found yourself most concerned over the welfare of your children. You don't want to see them unhappy, but you're not sure how to manage this relationship with their other parent.
One thing you need to carefully consider is the ability to co-parent your children. Co-parenting can be a positive way to raise your children and may help them adapt better to the changes following a divorce.
Why is co-parenting so important?
Co-parenting is also known as shared parenting. This kind of parenting is very important for children, because it allows them to live in relative peace between two divorced parents. It boosts the bonds among everyone involved, primarily focusing on encouraging positive growth in the children who have gone through divorce.
With co-parenting, both parents are able to make decisions about their child or children. When making decisions, even if they disagree with one another, they must put the child first. This includes the child's physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual needs.
Being able to co-parent is a major indication of how well children will do after a divorce. If parents are able to co-parent and work together, then the likelihood is that their children will also learn wonderful techniques for handling disputes and be able to move forward as well. If conflicts continue instead, then children may not see positive ways to resolve issues and could struggle emotionally, physically or in other ways.
How can co-parents resolve conflicts effectively?
Co-parents can work to resolve conflicts effectively. One of the best methods for doing so is by using nondefensive, clear communication. For example, if you have a problem with something the other parent has done, you can say, "I am worried about that situation, because it has affected me in a negative way." This is much better than an accusatory, "You caused this problem that negatively affected me" statement.
Another excellent way to improve your communication with your ex-spouse is by listening. Listening, not waiting to react, gives you time to mull over what they're saying and why they might feel that way. Reactive listening is detrimental, because you may hear what the other parent says but be waiting to defend or assert your own wishes.
Your child is important to you, and co-parenting is a good situation to find yourself in if you can manage it effectively. Good co-parents make a positive difference as children grow up between divorced families.