Keys to a Healthy Relationship With Your Co-Parent

A healthy co-parenting relationship may well be the most challenging thing divorced or single parents have to endure. Parents are obliged to work together with their previous partners to ensure that their children grow up in a manner that does not affect the child’s state of mind. This is because the state of mind of a child may well be the most crucial part of a child to grow to a healthy child and eventually an adult who can make wise and logical decisions about marriage, co-parenting, and even raising a child themselves as a single parent.

This can only be achieved when you follow specific keys to a healthy relationship with your co-parent. This way you ensure that the child is able to get the best, but first is to realize that your co-parent is the parent to your child just as much as you are. Some parents may have a difficult time accepting this truth, but the faster they accept it and it will be easier to co-parent. You need to allow yourself to let the other person into the child’s life without any difficulties and blend the different parenting styles that you may have.

Children raised by both parents easily understand their role in a family and parenting since they have both a father and mother figure. It will be easier to discipline them since both parents are authority figures in the child’s life.

Therefore, you will need to have a co-parenting plan and a healthy relationship, that will help promote successful co-parenting. A co-parenting arrangement can be hard to follow, but co-parenting communication and trusting each other on how to raise the child is the best way to curb the parenting issues that divorced parents might have while raising their child.

Table of Contents

Communicate With Each Other

Frequent communication when necessary is the most critical aspect of parenting after a Colorado Springs divorce with your co-parent. You need to be able to speak out how you feel about each other’s parenting actions without going overboard. Talk to each other and make it possible to be together for the child while maintaining a healthy relationship. It is here where trust becomes the most crucial asset for co-parenting. You need to allow the other parent to go with the child for a few days, and you need to trust them that they will not run away but will take care of the child and bring the child back on time.

Honesty still remains of utmost concern. You have to be honest, communicate what you think the other co-parent is doing that you feel is wrong, and discuss the matter. There is a need for being calm at such times to ensure that you do not ruin your current relationship and, more so, do not allow the child to hear you arguing. There is also a need to admit when you are wrong, this helps cultivate a level of honesty that the other parent would not want to disrespect. Ensuring that you both are on the same page on the well-being of the child.

An image of a woman with a baby on the phone with her ex husband

Most importantly, ensure you create a schedule for your child. Depending on your agreement with your co-parent, you may need to have a program for your child. It helps in taking turns in taking care and spending quality time with your child. Without a deliberate plan for your child, you may find yourself juggling who will take care of the child this or that weekend or even having issues due to one co-parent not wanting to allow the other to take care of the child.

Related: 10 Ways to Improve Your Self Care During a Divorce

Have Boundaries

Boundaries shape your relationship. Without limitations, you will have a relationship where anger and resentment play a big part in ruining the child’s upbringing. You need to know what makes you angry and what does not. After this, you will know what lines can be drawn to ensure you do not collide. With that done, have a sit down with your co-parent and discuss boundaries together to ensure that you have a stable parental relationship aimed at taking care of your child. 

Do not allow your previous relationship to affect you, placing boundaries, hence there is a need to forgive and focus first on what’s really at stake, the child. So ensure that you make lines focused on the growth of the child. These lines include decision-making on matters concerning the baby. Do not allow yourself to make big decisions such as transferring the child to another school, taking the child on a long trip outside the country, or even introducing them to your current boyfriend or girlfriend. All these measures can lead to heated arguments, especially when not communicated to the other partner.

Setting boundaries in decision-making concerning the child is a crucial factor when setting boundaries. To ensure effectiveness in placing such boundaries, a few techniques can come into play, such as the use of a therapist on either a monthly basis or when the need arises. Another method is using apps to ensure that there is constant review of set boundaries and check on measures to take when boundaries are crossed.

Focus on the Child

The child remains the common ground for your agreement; hence focus on the child to ensure you give the child the best. When you focus on the child, you build an even better relationship because your relationship does not have any hidden agenda. You talk and even discuss the growth of the child. The child remains to be the person of interest where you all agree on.

After divorce, you will have a custody agreement. You will need to adjust to the new family dynamic to avoid imposing the negative side effects of divorce on your children and causing them further trauma. To help you can have your child visit a child psychologist if they are having a hard time with their emotions.

There are several benefits to working on your personal relationship so you can focus on the child:

  1. A co-parenting agreement gives you a common ground and you will have something to talk about. When the common ground is set, you realize that your goals for the child are similar, with only a slight difference in implementation. This creates space where both of you can discuss how to bring up the child together as co-parents
  2. You put your personal differences aside. Attending family therapy can help you avoid reacting to situations in your daily life based on past experiences and hurts, and focus on the child’s future
  3. You make better plans for the child. Due to a united goal towards the child’s growth and everyday life, both you and your co-parent work together in sharing decisions that help the child’s proper development. This includes attending the child’s life events such as birthday parties(and school events among others), selecting a school for your child, knowing when to buy certain toys or gifts for the child, ensuring that no parent is sidelined by the child as being extra harsh, instilling discipline together.

Related: Getting a Divorce With Children

Allow Flexibility

There is a need to understand that no situation in the world lacks setbacks or challenges. Raising a child as two parents can have inevitable setbacks that can cause complications in co-parenting. At this particular time, you may realize the need for flexibility. Avoid blaming the other parent for not accomplishing their end of the bargain. During this period of time, you should ensure that you are ready to compromise where there is a need in order to maintain peace and raise a happy child. 

The first step in being flexible is relaxing. For example, you may have planned a night out with your friends because your child was with your co-parent, then suddenly you get a call from your co-parent asking you to come in. The co-parent’s flight has been delayed. The child needs to be picked up from school. When you are relaxed you can think before you act.

Relationship With Your Co-Parent

Learn to forgive the co-parent even in situations you find absurd and give them the benefit of the doubt, which goes a long way into giving you peace of mind. Finally, note that situations like these will always be there. You need to work around the concerns to find a solution. In this case, you can decide to text your friends and cancel the plans to later. Secondly, you can pick up the child and wait till the co-parent comes, then you can go on with your plans for the night.

Act on Logic, Not Feelings

Acting on logic as a co-parent even though it has can at times seem difficult. At times you feel like you are required to think through issues you didn’t have to when you were romantic partners. To make matters worse, you may have to act logically with a person who may have broken your heart or hurt you in another way, and at the time, you may want nothing to do with them. Because of the strong emotions, the easiest decision for some is to restrict the time the other party spends with the child or give complicated rules which are almost impossible to accomplish even for you. 

However, this is not the way to go; you should try as much a possible to be logical in such a situation. Be empathetic with your co-parent, they may not like being around you, but the child is the common ground, help each other in supporting the child.

Avoid bad-mouthing your partner even when you’re angry. This ensures a stable relationship between you two, and there’ll be no negative emotions passed on through passive-aggressive means.

Do not involve the child in adult decision-making. Make the major decisions together to ensure that the child does not take sides and is brought up reasonably. If your co-parent is refusing your visitation, not paying child support, or otherwise breaking any other court-mandated orders call Brighter Day℠ Law at (719) 225-4443 to schedule a consultation with an attorney at our Colorado family law firm.