Trying to be a parent after a divorce can sometimes be difficult when conflicts are still ensuing afterward. This does not mean you are not a good parent, but that you are still dealing with the emotional aftermath of a divorce or feelings towards your former spouse. Learning healthy co-parenting methods can help you be there for your children to ensure a healthy development for them. If you have questions about your divorce, consider talking with an experienced Tennessee family law lawyer.
What is Healthy Co-Parenting?
The most important thing about is remembering how this will benefit your children. This is your motivation for taking into account healthy co-parenting practices and attempting to implement them. One of the golden rules of healthy co-parenting is to put your child first. Avoid conflict with your spouse in front of your children and do not
take out negative emotions related to the divorce on them. Also, avoid putting your children in the middle of you and your former spouse. In other words, try not to use your child as a messenger to your ex.
Maintaining consistency between you and your ex in terms of visitations or joint custody schedules can be important for avoiding conflicts. Being on the same level with each other on these things will not let surprises lead to arguments over scheduling or discipline styles. Following similar discipline rules will also help your child not be confused if they have to adapt to two completely different ways of parenting.
If you have joint custody, the transitions between dropping off or picking up your child from your ex can be important for your child’s well-being. We sometimes take for granted how children feel about jumping between living with different parents. To foster smoother transitions, let them know ahead of time when you will be dropping them off and have them pack in advance to avoid rushing the transition.
Parent Education Programs
are managed by courts and are designed to improve parent habits after a divorce. This is done to help parents adjust to the change with a parenting plan and a better understanding of the effects of the divorce on the children. Depending on the divorce cases, judges may make this program mandatory or optional.
If you are concerned about time, the good news is that these programs are usually four hours or less. There are a variety of programs out there, but they all tend to focus on improving the parent-child relationship by teaching different interpersonal strategies. Many of these programs have resulted in less interparental conflict, which is often the first step in healthy co-parenting.