How to make co-parenting easier

Finding ways to make parenting with a former spouse less conflict-laden can benefit children and parents alike.

Even under the most ideal circumstances, raising a child is one of the hardest things a person can do. As any divorced parent in Indiana can attest to, the addition of having to parent with a former spouse can make parenting even more difficult. Divorced people are often divorced because they could not agree on some substantial topics and child-rearing may be among those reasons. Simply getting a divorce does not eliminate the disagreements.

However, it is better for children and parents alike when moms and dads can work together in a positive, cooperative manner for the good of their children. Following are some tips on how this may be done.

Put the kids as the first priority

When parents are able to consciously remember that the children's interests come first, it can be easier to let some of the little things go. Psychology Today explains that by doing this, parents are better positioned to avoid conflict or at least keep it to a minimum. This, in turn, creates an environment that more positively fosters strong relationships between kids and both parents.

MindBodyGreen, on online media source that promotes healthy living, reiterates this point by reminding parents that kids can tend to feel disloyal to one parent if they actively love the other when high conflict exists between the parents. A mindful approach to co-parenting is recommended to avoid this.

Be polite, especially in front of children

The old adage about not saying anything at all if you have nothing good to say could not be more appropriate here. Because kids naturally want to love both parents, they feel torn when they hear or see parents speaking poorly of each other or to each other. Kids might even feel guilty or compensate by taking sides with one parent, which then pulls them away from the other.

Focus on the Family, a ministry that provides help to people around the world, recommends that parents work to find opportunities for their children to experience them being kind to or about each other. For example, a mom might talk to the kids positively about their dad's talent in a particular area. Another example is when both parents greet each other politely when exchanging the kids.

Take breaks when needed

Knowing when not to respond can be very helpful. Instead of lashing back in the heat of the moment, parents are urged to hold back. Asking for time to think about a topic and then discuss it later on, perhaps the next day, can let emotions calm down. This may facilitate a more productive discussion and a better outcome.

Get the right help

From the outset of a divorce, getting the right professionals involved can make a difference. Working with a qualified family law attorney in Indiana can help a parent feel that important decisions are being properly addressed. This may then allow them the ability to focus on working with their kids and learning how to co-parent sooner in the process.