If you have both agreed on how to discipline your child, or what activities they can do after school, then stick with that decision. Consistency helps a child learn about rules and boundaries. It also means less arguments between you as parents.
Don’t bottle things up. If there is something you need to talk about with your co-parent, then get it said. It might not be a problem after all. Communicating how you feel will help you both get a better understanding of each other. Don’t use your children as mediators, they shouldn’t be involved in any communications between you.
Discuss don’t Argue
Never argue in front of your child, it will make them feel insecure. If you have something you need to discuss pick a time when you can both be alone and talk about the matter then. If you have a Co-Parenting agreement in place, refer to it if you think there is a problem.
Don’t Criticise each Other
Even if you are angry with your co-parent try not to let it show in front of your children and never criticise them, doing one parent down won’t help your child and they won’t want to pick sides.
Support your Partner
Be friends. Your children will reap the benefits of a cordial relationship and you and your co-partner will feel better in yourselves if there isn’t any backbiting or rancour. If there is a problem at home, don’t take sides, listen and see if you can help resolve the issue.
Keep to your Schedules
It won’t always be possible to keep to schedule, but try as hard as you can to make sure you keep appointments and turn up on the days you have visits. If you really can’t make it, let your co- partner know well in advance if possible and explain the reason to your child. Never just not turn up without communicating, it will hurt your child’s feelings and they will lose the trust they have in you.
Use a Co-Parenting App
There are plenty of co-parenting apps in the marketplace. Some apps are free and other you have to pay for look out for apps like Our Family Wizard. Choose an app you both like and use it to organise your finances, keep up with schedules and communicate with your co-partner and your children.
Listen to your Children
Be interested in their world. Listen to their worries and concerns and try to support them between you. Make your children understand that even though you don’t live with your co-partner, you are both available at any time to listen and to support them.
Keep up the Relationship with Grandma
If you are Co-parenting because you are divorced or separated, it is important that your child or children are able to see their grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins. Don’t cut them off from being part of a wider family.
Enjoy your Time
You don’t have to make every visit like a holiday from Disney, but make sure you spend the time you have with your children, with them. Don’t carry on working or spend hours on the phone. Organise activities you can do together. They don’t have to cost money, a bike ride, a game on the X box or watching a film together on TV. Your children will grow and prosper with your attention.
Being a Co-parent isn’t easy, but if you get yourself organised and make the most of the time you have with your children, there’s no reason why children in a co-parenting situation shouldn’t be healthy and happy.
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