5 Easy Ways to Keep the Children at the Centre of Co-Parenting
Separation and divorce are tough on families. During these transitions, the values that once were the core of a family are often thrown for a loop, leaving every family member experiencing many different emotions. For children, at the centre of this situation are questions like when will they get to see each of there parents, was it their fault that their parents split up, and was there something they could have done to prevent it beforehand.
For parents, different questions may come to mind, but they one they should be asking is how can they centre their efforts to protect the well-being of their children and ease any worries they might have. Here are five easy ways to keep the children at the centre of co-parenting.
Show Children the Support They Need
During such a big transition, children need extra support from the ones they love the most. As a parent facing this kind of change, put extra effort in keeping your child and their needs in the centre of your thoughts. Even though you know that they know it already, make an extra effort to express your affection by telling your children how loved they are by both of their parents. And even if you think they know it already, be sure to say it to your children that the divorce or separation was not their fault.
Work Towards a Parenting Agreement that Favours the Children
Your parenting agreement will lay out the guidelines for co-parenting like your parenting schedule, financial responsibilities, and more. When tasked with formulating a parenting agreement, maintain your children at the centre of any decisions you make. Work to keep tension at bay which could impact your choices throughout this process. Your goal should be to centre your agreement on what's best for your children first and foremost.
Keep the Peace In Front of the Children
At the centre of your divorce or separation may be several deeply rooted issues that are difficult for you and your co-parent to overcome, at least right now. Big conflicts floating around nearly any situation you are both involved with can make it especially hard to have to face each other. However, parenting time transitions, sports games, music recitals, and other events for your children can create moments where you must be near your co-parent. Moreover, you must still maintain some line of communication to share relevant information about your children.
As co-parents, keep your children at the centre of your interactions always. Part of this means that you should agree to keep the peace when in the presence of your children. Do your best to remain calm and collected during parenting time exchanges or events you are both attending for your children. Avoid topics that you know could create tension, saving any tough conversations for another space. Also, be sure to be aware of the way you speak to each other during phone calls or over text messages. Young ears can easily overhear calls, and text messages can flash across phone screens if your settings are not set to prevent that from happening. For this reason, using an application that separates your co-parenting communication from the other more traditional methods you use can help to keep your conversations secure and centred on your children.
Involve the Children in Creating New Traditions
This transition may not be pleasant, and letting go of special traditions that you shared as a family can be hard. Instead of dwelling on the way things were, beat the pre-holiday blues by focusing on how you can make the future fun. Family traditions are central to what makes being part of a family special, and now, it's your and your children's turn to decide what traditions you want to embrace moving forward. Get your children involved when deciding on how to celebrate special occasions as a family. While you might not attend the same family gatherings or do the same things you once did, it's okay to get creative and come up with new ideas for how to memorialise special occasions.
Keep Communication Clear
Maintaining lines of communication is important when raising children in separate homes. However, making sure that your communication is clear is even more important. Details can often get lost in long emails or in quick, vague text messages. If tensions between parents is an issue, face-to-face or phone conversations can be challenging to make work. Instead, using a tool that keeps children and their essential details at the centre of communication can help parents achieve clear information exchanges.
Keeping children at the centre of co-parenting isn't always as easy as it sounds. Yet when co-parents are in agreement to work together for the benefit of their children, it can be much easier to keep parenting efforts focused on them.