Co-parenting can be defined as a parenting situation in which two separated or divorced parents take care of their children.
California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Michael Scott says, “It is a well-established fact that a child experiencing the dissolution of the family structure will do better if the parents are able to get along and reduce trauma in an already traumatic experience. Co-parenting can be a viable option when it is implemented by parents who want it to work because they understand that the child’s needs supersede their own self interest, and it can be successful and rewarding for both the child and the parents.”
Keeping a well-balanced marriage is somewhat trying and difficult at times, so ending the relationship in good terms is even harder. Children are resilient by nature but coping with their parents divorce takes some adjustment. If parents are able to bring their marital relationship to an end without excessive conflict and children are not put into the middle of it, they’ve accomplished a great feat: the children’s emotional welfare should always come first no matter what the couple’s differences are.
In an article by Dr. Edward Kruk on Psychology Today, he states that although it’s difficult to predict children behavior of divorced parents, he offers some tips for successful co-parenting that apply to most, if not all, divorcing families:
These tips are helpful only if both parents commit to them. Like Dr. Kruk states, “It is critical to keep in mind that the two most important factors in children’s successful adjustment to the consequences of divorce are the maintenance of a meaningful routine relationship with each of their parents, and to be shielded from ongoing parental conflict. The challenge for parents is to develop and maintain a co-parenting relationship that ensures that both of these essential needs are met. The challenge for both professional service providers and informal support networks is to support (and not undermine) parents in the fulfillment of their responsibilities in regard to these needs of children in particular.”
Co-parenting shouldn’t be a continuation of the divorce but a reassuring, empowering and supportive experience for the child.