20 tips to help you be a better and more successful co-parent
So you think co-parenting is hard?
Co-parenting is not that hard. You can do it if you really want. Successful co-parenting takes two. At a minimum. In order to successfully co-parent your children, you have to adopt a “we” and “our” posture and stop even using the words “me” and “my.” Instead of referring to the children as “my” children, be conscious of always saying “our” children.
Below are 20 tips for successful co-parenting. See which ones you find most helpful in your own situation:
- Start with yourself. There can be no “co-parenting” without you and your commitment to the endeavor. Are you committed?
- Put the children first and your ego and baggage on the back burner.
- Manage your anger and resentment with your spouse in a child-friendly way for the sake of the kids
- Understand that with successful co-parenting, communication is key. You have to keep the doors and channels open and you have to understand that communication is a two way street. It takes a lot of willingness to listen and to compromise.
- Release the urge to be right.
- Be consistent and have a united front with the kids.
- Practice similar disciplinary procedures with the kids.
- Don’t blame and finger point for every little minor mistake.
- Execute an agreement in writing that says you commit to being co-parents
- Emulate movie stars and famous people who are doing a good job of co-parenting. Read this post and this post.
- Organization is crucial so that everybody stays on the same page. Use calendars and agendas and reminders to the utmost.
- Don’t fight over money. Just do what you are supposed to do and if sometimes a little more is needed, pony it up. Neither side should use money as some type of weapon and bargaining chip.
- Respect goes a long way in keeping up a co-parenting stance. You don’t have to like or love each other but you do have to respect each other and the kids will know it by what you do and say.
- Never bad mouth each other or talk trash about each other in front of the kids.
- Appreciate that whatever was not right in your relationship, if you could have produced such beautiful children, then something good came out of it and cherish that by taking care of it together.
- Do what you say you are going to do and be there when you are supposed to.
- Do “family” stuff often even if at first it is awkward.
- Consult each other on important and not so important decisions.
- Actively encourage the kids’ relationship and respect for the other parent.
- Share milestones and accomplishments with each other by sending photos and copies of things; taking photos together; doing joint celebrations; inviting each other to the children’s events and using technology (including social media, emails and apps) to keep in touch on issues involving children.
Remember that succesful co-parenting begins with you.