When a relationship with your spouse or partner goes south, you have to remember that they will still be a part of our life. This is especially true if you happen to have a child together.
Even if things didn't work out between the two of you, you still share the beautiful blessing of raising a child together. This is what co-parenting is all about, as it is a wonderful way for both of you to be involved in your child's development.
A lot of research over the years has looked into the importance of supporting children through their parents' divorce, and whether or not it is possible to take care of the child’s wellbeing during this tough situation. A post on psychology by Maryville University highlights an undeniable link between mental health and academic success, which means that co-parents must collaborate to create a healthy environment for their kids to grow up in. In turn, it will not only give the children the opportunity to succeed in life, but they will also feel assured when it comes to their parents' love. That said, here are five signs to help you check if you're co-parenting properly:
1. You Put Your Child’s Needs First
Let this be the guiding principle in your new role as a co-parent. Despite not being romantic partners anymore, you and your fellow co-parent are now teammates in raising your child, whose best interest should be the basis of all your decisions. To determine if your team has a strong foundation, ask yourselves these questions:
• Are we putting the well-being of our child first?
• Are we setting a good example for our child?
• Are we making our child feel safe and secure?
2. You Speak to Your Co-Parent with Respect
From dropping off your child at your co-parent's house to attending school programs and ceremonies, you’re bound to have a conversation with your co-parent. Good co-parents understand that the way they speak to each other will directly affect their child. Researchers from the University of Vermont found that arguing in front of your child can actually alter their brain's development and cause them to process emotions negatively. To keep this from happening, remember that a divorce or a break-up isn't a declaration of war. Co-parents who seek an effective partnership post-separation must instill the values of humility, kindness, and respect in the way they communicate with each other.
3. You Don’t Criticize Your Co-Parent in Front of Your Child
Healthy communication doesn't only matter when you’re in the presence of your co-parent, it should also be practiced when you're home alone with your child. Certified co-parenting coach Anna Giannone writes in The Huffington Post that children take it to heart when you speak negatively about their other parent. Never underestimate the role that dialogue plays in co-parenting, as principled co-parents should always pay attention to both the words and manner used in talking about each other. Above all, both need to be selfless; neither of you should cause your child to think they have to choose sides.
4. You Have to Master the Art of Compromise
In our post on ‘7 Ways to Help Your Kids Have the Best Summer Yet’, co-parenting entails that both parties are on the same page when it comes to scheduling, no matter the season. Although this is easier said than done as being in constant communication with your ex can come with some challenges, responsible co-parents will understand how to compromise because they prioritize their child's feelings. Moreover, they also know how to follow the schedule agreed upon, so that their child can have quality time with each parent.
5. You Have a Happy and Healthy Child
Parents usually set the path for their children, which is why seeing your child thrive in life is the most important telltale sign that you’re doing co-parenting right. Not showing your child love will ultimately cause aggressive and antisocial traits, which means that co-parents must put their pride aside and love their child wholeheartedly. Regardless of the circumstances, you and your fellow co-parent still comprise a family, and ultimately, the choices you make together will be reflected in your child's well-being.
5 Signs You’re Doing Co-Parenting Right Post, solely for the use of fayr.com written by Kathy Johnson