Co-parenting can be extremely difficult for all parties to adjust to; especially children. As difficult as situations may be, it is always best when parents can come together, and reach a happy medium in the best interest of the child(ren). For children in co-parenting families, it is imperative they understand that although they may be raised between two households, that they are indeed, loved!
Here are our Top 10 Tips for co-parenting:
Top Ten Tips For Co-Parenting During The Holidays
1. Allow your children to express their feelings. Encourage discussions, and activities, where children are allowed to express their feelings regarding the separation.
2. Stick to your visitation schedule. If your child is mature, involve them in the establishment of your co-parenting visitation schedule. In the event one parent has to make a change to the schedule, let the child know directly.
3. Show, more than you tell. Your actions truly do speak louder than words! Tell your children how much you love them, but make sure you also show them through your actions.
Keep disagreements, discrete! Mommy and Daddy will have disagreements, and that’s fine. However, children should not be privy to the discussion.
5. Gifts don’t change the situation. Often times, we try to “gift” our troubles away. In reality, those “gifts” do not resolve the issue that a child is having a difficult time adjusting to co-parenting. Save your money, spend time with your child, and talk to them about the issue, and reassure them that everything is going to be just fine.
Parenting is forever! Make sure your child(ren) understand that although their parents may no longer be together, that their relationship with both parents is forever.
Don’t make promises you can’t keep.
8. Be present. Your presence in your child’s life is truly more of a gift than any materialistic present you could purchase. Shower them with your presence!
9. Same Team! Someone wave the white flag! Co-parenting takes a lot of work; no one said it would be easy. However, it is for the best interest of what’s most precious to you - your child(ren).
10. R-E-S-P-E-C-T – Show a little respect; it goes a long way!
Ms. Cydny A. Neville, MAEd is the President/CEO of the Neville Empowerment Network, Inc., and has over a decade of experience working with agencies across Northern Virginia, to enhance the lives of youth; and nearly two decades of experience in the nonprofit sector. Author of the co-parenting children’s series, “Baby, You Are Loved,” and a Facilitator of Commonwealth Court Mandated Parenting Seminars, she has a wealth of experience facilitating community outreach programs throughout the Commonwealth, and truly "Puts the "C" in Community!"