Coparenting

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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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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How To Win A Custody Battle Against A Narcissist

Woman hugging boy on her lap as she ponders how to win a custody battle against a narcissist.

Divorce is already stressful enough. If you’re waging a custody battle on top of that—a custody battle with a narcissist, no less—then it can be absolutely overwhelming. This is new, scary territory, and your children are on the line. It can be the most difficult ordeal of your life.

Narcissistic behavior is often no-holds-barred self-serving conduct that makes it harder for others to prevail by sticking to the rules. Many times, narcissists will do anything they think they can get away with to advance their cause. This might include:

  • Personal attacks and insults
  • Legal, financial, and personal threats against you or others you care about
  • Gaslighting and other forms of psychological manipulation
  • Attempting to turn others against you
  • A willingness to spend considerable money to get what they want

The good news is that there are professionals who deal with these disputes every day, and they know how to win a custody battle against a narcissist. They can help you, and they’re your first stop on the road to making it through this crisis.

Hire an Experienced Attorney Who Specializes in Family Law

Fighting a custody battle with a narcissist is a dangerous turning point in your journey as a parent. You’re likely to be…

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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…

Read more: 10 Tips For Healing A Child's Heart After Divorce

What To Do When Co-Parenting Doesn't Work

When co-parenting doesn’t work, your child could be suffering more than you know.

When co-parenting doesn’t work, you can still raise happy, healthy children post-divorce.

When a divorce involves children, the most important considerations necessarily revolve around them. When co-parenting doesn’t work as a custodial solution, the priority of the children must still be maintained.

Given that children need and deserve to have a relationship with both parents, it makes sense that co-parenting would be the ideal arrangement. In a healthy co-parenting arrangement, the children, not the parents, are the focus.

Co-parenting expects parents to essentially “be on their best behavior” and practice healthy co-parenting. They have to communicate regularly, agree on fundamental child-rearing strategies and rules, and put the needs of the kids above their own.

As idyllic an arrangement as that sounds -- short of being happily married -- it’s not always possible.

Some couples simply aren’t ready or able to rise above their lingering negative emotions like anger, resentment and jealousy. Sometimes parenting philosophies and behaviors are starkly different. (Perhaps those differences even played a role in the divorce.) And sometimes two people are just flat-out incapable of collaboration.

Research shows that it’s not divorce itself that causes lasting harm to children. It’s being an audience to their parents’ destructive fighting that harms them. And…

Read more: What To Do When Co-Parenting Doesn't Work

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