What Does “Healthy” Co-Parenting Look Like?
Many divorced parents find themselves asking what healthy co-parenting actually means and looks like in effect. According to experts, one of the basic tenets of healthy co-parenting is the belief that children can suffer if parents fail to be consistent and unified in their parenting/messaging. Honest and open communication is another policy often suggested to those committed to co-parenting. However, most importantly, healthy co-parenting is focused on your children.
While the notion of good, healthy parenting is largely subjective and depends upon what you think is right and wrong in terms of how to properly raise children, experts do agree on some very broad characteristics of healthy co-parenting, as described here by The Good Men Project, and as we describe below:
Remember that the only person that you can control is yourself, and you have the power to set a positive example for your children.
If you share children, communication with your ex is unavoidable. While this can be a tense experience for a number of people, keeping these channels open in any way that you can –whether that be email, telephone, text, etc.—is ultimately better for your children. Make sure you never communicate with your ex through your children, as you risk information being miscommunicated and potentially fostering fear and guilt in the child who serves as the go-between.This also extends into coming to a basic agreement about the most important things involving your children, such as discipline, education, healthcare, religion, etc.
Similarly, being flexible is a part of this open communication strategy, and can send an important message to your kids regarding the importance of putting them first and cooperation.
Consistency & Routine
Consistency and routine are very important for equipping children with security and predictability. While this can sometimes be difficult if there is tension with your ex, being on the same page with schedules, routine, rules, and structure helps provide that unified front that helps keep them on the right track.
Discussing Your Ex
Keeping any discussions about your ex on the positive side and avoiding disparagement is also important for your children. Speaking badly of your ex can be directly damaging to your kids and your relationship with them. Conversely, it can be reassuring and even emotionally liberating for children to not have to worry about negative interactions between their parents at all because those parents get along pretty well and will always have cordial, respectful interactions in their respective arrangements for the children.
Attendance at Events
This also applies to your attendance at school and extra-curricular events: children should never have to worry about how their parents will behave towards each other – and whether they will fight – if they show up to the same event for the child’s sake.
Ask Our Florida Parenting & Timesharing Attorneys
If you have concerns about parenting and time sharing, please contact our experienced Fort Lauderdale, Florida family law attorneys at Trachman & Ballot-Lena, P.A. today to find out how we can help.