Coparenting

Co-Parenting Basics For Divorced Parents

Dad who knows the secrets of co-parenting for divorced parents carrying his son on his shoulders.

Co-parenting after the end of your marriage can be really hard, but your kids are worth it.

Regardless of why your marriage ended or is ending and the angst you feel about it, if you have children, your ex will always be in your life. That’s why learning all you can about co-parenting for divorced parents will help ease the parenting relationship you’ll need to maintain with your ex and help your kids not only move forward but thrive.

What Exactly Is Co-Parenting?

Most people assume that co-parenting simply means shared parenting post-divorce. However, this isn’t accurate.

Co-parenting is shared parenting where parents work together and communicate regularly to continue parenting together despite no longer being married. Co-parenting is hard. Co-parenting requires that two people who couldn’t stay married cooperate and compromise for the sake of their child or children.

Co-parenting requires that you and your ex are consistent and unified in your parenting. Although this doesn’t mean that you and your ex need to be perfectly in synch. Just closely enough aligned that your kid/kids understand that both their parents know what’s going on and are working together for their sakes.

More than anything else healthy co-parentingis focused on the kids. It is part of…

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Why Co-Parenting A Teenager Is So Hard

Teenage girl who’s unaware of how difficult co-parenting a teenager is.

It is really hard, but you can make it easier.

For most parents who divorce, co-parenting sucks. Somehow, you’re supposed to go from not being able to make a marriage work to being able to communicate and work together to raise your children. But even that gets more difficult when you’re faced with co-parenting a teenager together.

Before diving into the difficulties of co-parenting a teenager, you need to understand why it’s typically so tough to raise teenagers.

Why parenting a teenager is so hard

Adolescence brings with it amazing physical and hormonal changes which result in sexual and other physical maturation. And all these developments mean that teens have behavioral changes and mood swings.

Teens are gradually able to think more abstractly, make plans and set long-term goals. They may become more interested in philosophy, politics and social issues. They’ll likely also begin comparing themselves to their peers.

They want greater control of their own lives and independence from their parents. So their friendships and romantic/sexual relationships become very important to them.

Developing a sense of personal identity is one of the major tasks that teens undertake. And many try out lots of different ways of being – including ways that fly in the face of what…

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9 Tips For Co-Parenting With A Difficult Ex

Girl drinking water unaware her parent is watching & thinking about co-parenting with a difficult ex.

Parenting after divorce is difficult, but these tips can help make things easier for you.

As difficult as divorce is, co-parenting may be even more difficult. And co-parenting with a difficult ex could make you want to hitch a ride with Thelma and Louise.

The drama, the crazy-making, the accusations and bad-mouthing, the manipulation, the constant pushing of limits….Co-parenting with a difficult ex can be incredibly frustrating.

How can you maintain your sanity and ensure that your children have access to at least one ‘adult’ parent?

You know that good co-parenting means you put the children first. But you can do only so much if you are co-parenting with a difficult ex.

And what if your ex is a narcissist or toxic person? How do you pull off a shared effort with someone who is incapable of putting anyone else first?

Strategies for co-parenting with a difficult ex all have two non-negotiables at their core. The first is the highest good of your children. The second is the maintenance of your personal integrity and sanity.

If you can keep those commitments in focus at all times, you will more easily navigate your ex’s efforts to throw you off-course.

Power struggles are often at the…

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13 Reasons Why Co-Parenting Doesn’t Work For Everyone

Man looking at his son wondering why co-parenting doesn’t work for him and his ex.

Co-parenting isn’t always the best choice or even possible after divorce.

Nearly everywhere you look online, you’ll find article after article extolling the virtues of co-parenting post-divorce. In fact, some even hint if not outright state that the only way to make sure your kids adjust well to the divorce is if you co-parent.

And many divorce professionals tell their clients that co-parenting is the best way to parent after divorce.

So if you’re divorced or separated and co-parenting isn’t working for you, it’s easy to understand why you might be feeling like a failure.

Yet, before you sink (deeper) into depression being afraid you’re screwing up your kids, you need to know there are some very valid and legitimate reasons why co-parenting doesn’t work for everyone.

But before getting into those reasons, it’s important to understand what it takes to successfully co-parent. Knowing what it takes will make it easier to accept and understand when and why co-parenting doesn’t work.

Successful co-parenting requires twelve things:

  1. Clear boundaries
  2. An open dialogue between both parents
  3. Consistency with rules and parenting styles in both households
  4. Pre-determined, predictable scheduling
  5. Willingness to be flexible when something comes up
  6. ZERO disrespectful talk about each other in front of or from the children…

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10 Tips For Healing A Child's Heart After Divorce

By focusing on healing a child’s heart after divorce, his parents might have alleviated the isolation this boy is feeling.

Healing a child’s heart after divorce is tricky. Luckily your child can heal without lasting scars.

Healing your heart after divorce can be a long, all-encompassing journey. The thought of healing a child’s heart after divorce can take your breath away. Children are, after all, the innocent, powerless victims -- the collateral damage with no say in the implosion of their family.

Children are, by their nature, resilient. But how they react and adapt in the case of divorce depends on a number of factors, including age, personality and circumstances.

And success in healing a child’s heart after divorce depends largely on you -- how you react, adapt...and communicate.

Parents, even without intending, can be so engrossed in their own emotions that they forget about the emotional impact on their children. If the separation and divorce are especially hostile, they may not be able to see beyond their own anger and blame.

A common mistake parents make is failing to acknowledge and help children talk through the impact of the divorce.

Sometimes guilt gets in the way. Sometimes parents don’t have the awareness essential to be present to their children in the necessary way. And sometimes they don’t have the necessary emotional or communication…

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