Divorce is typically not someone’s first choice of outcome when they get married. However, sometimes things don’t go as planned and divorce becomes a part of the story. It’s never easy to handle, and it becomes more complicated when children are involved.
Parents may get divorced, but they must continue to interact with each other on behalf of the children. It’s beneficial to the child that both parents do their best to communicate and show up for them as much as possible. (Please note, I do realize sometimes divorce occurs because the situation is unhealthy and unsafe to stay in. These types of situations are not applicable to what this post is trying to convey.)
Co-parenting is difficult.
Neither party typically appreciates the other, but must stay cordial. It’s important to remember that co-parenting is not about the parents anymore. It’s about the kids and providing them with a safe atmosphere to grow and develop, despite how parents may feel about each other.
Here are some benefits of co-parenting:
The children will feel loved.
Making the children the priority, especially after the divorce, allows them to continue to feel as if both parents still care about them.
Less behavioral problems at school and home.
Less conflict in the home allows for the children to transition into a post-divorce life with greater ease. There is less anxiety or frustration on their part, which leaves room to focus on more important things. Also, when parents are on the same page about rules and expectations, the children have a better grasp on what their behavior should look like.
Higher self-esteem and confidence.
As with the previous statement, when parents set clear boundaries and expectations, children have the ability to form a more positive self-image as they navigate through this season of change. Having parents who model how to cooperate with someone they don’t like very much also teaches the children how to work through difficult relationships with confidence.
Less strife when a step-parent comes into the picture.
Co-parenting eases tension for everyone in the family. If a child can see his parents getting along, they tend to have lower walls up when a step-parent comes into the picture. There is no longer the need to choose sides or stay loyal to a parent because everyone is being friendly. This helps the next transition phase of a blended family a little less scary.
Less unnecessary responsibility to fix the parent’s relationship.
Although it may be clear why parents chose to divorce, children tend to blame themselves. Because of this, they also tend to feel like they have to fix their parent’s relationship in order to get the family back together. When positive co-parenting is present, it eases the anxiety and stress on the children to fix a problem that is not theirs. Friendliness can go a long way.
While co-parenting is beneficial, it is not the easiest thing to do. Getting along with someone after a divorce can almost feel impossible, but let me encourage you that it is not. If you and your ex-spouse need help working through the boundaries and rules of co-parenting, give us a call at 832-421-8714. We’d love to help!