With divorce rates peaking over the years, it has become important for individuals to understand the importance of co-parenting their kids in the case of a high conflict divorce. The child’s best interests need to be taken into account in this case as it is usually them who face the brunt and pain of the separation.
It is therefore the responsibility of the parents to come together and devise a way to co-parent their kids in the best possible way so as to ensure that they enjoy a peaceful, productive life in the future in spite of having parents who are divorced. Here are some tips that can be of help in understanding how to co-parent kids in the case of a divorce.
Develop a solid but flexible co-parenting plan
Parents need to devise a co-parenting plan that will enable them to spend equal time with their kids. The plan will also allow them to sort out differences of opinions when it comes to finances, education and other matters pertaining to the kid’s future. Rights and responsibilities of each parent needs to be discussed and agreed upon, preferably in front of a family dispute resolution counsellor.
Some of the points that need to be addressed in the co-parenting plan include education, visitation schedules, finances, special events, holidays, medical needs and guidelines pertaining to making important decisions. The plan should also talk about backup arrangements in case the need arises (for instance, if the kid falls sick and needs to stay at home for a couple of days or if one of the partner decides to change the plan).
Plan for common activities, events and tasks
Certain activities, events and tasks will require for both parents to be present. For instance, school outings and parent teacher meetings will require both parents of the kid to be present. The same goes for festivals, important family occasions and even health visits, etc.
In case the parents are on speaking terms, they can consider going to these events together. If that is not possible though, they will need to plan ahead as to who will accompany the kid to which function, event, task and so on.
Be flexible to different parenting styles
There is no guarantee that both parents use the same techniques and styles to take care of their children. They may differ in their parenting styles and so, will need to be flexible with differences that might arise due to the same. Parents need to deal with these differences in the most amicable manner. This will allow the kid to enjoy the positives of both styles without being caught between the parents.
Keep your feelings to yourself
Chances are the divorce was very nasty and has left the partners extremely bitter about each other. Parents who have undergone a high divorce conflict need to keep the feelings of their partners to themselves and not reveal the same to their kids.
Keeping the best interests of the kids in mind, the parents need to work cooperatively with each other rather than trying to make it difficult for each other to take care of the kids properly. Ego needs to be thrown out the front door here as the parents come together on the common ground of choosing what is best for the kids rather than for themselves.
Keep lines of communication open
Parents should make it a point to keep the communication lines between them open for the sake of their kids. Mobile messages and emails are often considered the best means of communication in the case where the parents do not feel comfortable talking to each other in person.
The messages and mails need to be short and straight to the point rather than being long, rambling and accusatory. Venting out their personal emotions in these messages and emails could possibly place parents in a quandary during future custody disputes. Hence, it is considered wise to keep communication open, but straight to the point without being accusatory.
Co-parenting kids after a high conflict divorce can be hard on the parents as well as their kids. In this case, parents will need to take the best interests of the kids into consideration and work towards establishing a combined, cooperative stance that will benefit their kids in the long run.