Co-parenting is a learned art… you’re not born with all the knowledge you need to make your co-parenting relationship a successful one. No one is ever fully prepared for all the trials and tribulations that come with co-parenting, let alone a situation that is high conflict. Biological parent or stepparent, it’s a learning curve. One that requires constant effort, patience, and motivation to improve.
If you’re a biological parent, dipping out at any time could have lasting consequences on your co-parenting relationship as well as your romantic relationship, and the relationship you have with your children. Stepparents distancing themselves from the co-parenting relationship can have lasting effects as well – on the co-parenting relationship itself, but it doesn’t have to have lasting effects on the children.
Consistency is Key
Consistency is so important in co-parenting and with any successful relationship. It’s about bringing effort, every single day. Keeping your promises, commitments, and word. Bring consistency to communication and to physical time spent with your child. Make co-parenting a priority at the top of the list. The more successful your co-parenting relationship, the happier and more carefree the children ultimately are.
The whole idea behind the premise of co-parenting is to share the responsibility of raising mutual children. In order for it to be successful, you have to show up every single day, consistently – with that said, all parties need to be committed to making it work and consistently being dependable.
When Things Break Down
When communication breaks down and we have issues, it’s important to keep the children out of it. Limiting time and communication with the other parents in the child’s life is psychological torture for a child. They did not create this situation, so do your best to keep them out of it. Attempt to settle things as adults, and when you’re no longer able to, reach out to a professional mediator.
Third party mediation is always a good “go to” when things are high conflict and emotions are involved. Consult your attorney when necessary, but attempt to work things out outside of court. It is possible for some third party mediators to draft parenting plans and visitation schedules. In some states you can submit a modified order yourself to the court, in others attorneys may be recommended or required.
Remember, working with the other parents involved in your children’s lives is child-focused. We don’t have to be best friends, we don’t have to follow each other on social media, we don’t need to hang out as a family, or even communicate about non-child centered things… but we do have to make it work for our kids.
I have worked with so many amazing struggling parents lately, and many of them are going through a complex co-parenting situation. There are parents who have just recently separated from their significant other and are also being separated from their children, stepmoms who are struggling to maintain a relationship with their children through parental alienation, and even fathers who are currently fighting to have a voice and presence in their children’s lives.
My message to you is that you are not alone in this. We are in it together. Please always feel free to reach out on any of my social media platforms and I will attempt to return your message as soon as possible! Thank you for being a part of this wonderful beautiful community!
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Heather Leanne of Mama Bear Blended Family Support. You can follow her journey on Instagram, Facebook, and her blog. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.
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