Tag Archives: co-parenting

Shared Family Parenting Conclusions: What is Harmful to Children

            Children are harmed when parents:

  •  Encourage children to choose between them.
  • Make promises they do not keep.
  • Criticize the other parent to the child or in the child’s range of hearing.
  • Use the child as a messenger or negotiator or seek information about the other parent from the child.
  • Withhold access to the child for any reason unless there are safety concerns.
  • Involve the child in the court process or share legal information.
  • Introduce a new partner without adequate preparation. Remember that children need time to grieve the loss of family as they knew it and may not be ready to accept a new partner.

             Parents should remember that a child’s experience of divorce differs from their own. A child can often benefit from participation in school-based groups for children of divorce. Some children have greater difficulty in adjusting to their parents’ separation. If your child exhibits troublesome behavior over time, consider seeking help from a specialist experienced in dealing with child development and divorce.

             It may be helpful to refer to the information you received at the Parent Education Program. Many helpful age-appropriate books have been written to help you and your children through this difficult time. Your local bookstore and library are wonderful resources.


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Shared Family Parenting Conclusions: What is Beneficial to Children

            Co-parenting after separation presents many challenges. It is not easy to put your children’s needs ahead of your own often intense feelings and fears. Referring to the  following parenting tips from time to time may help you master successful co-parenting.

  •  Communicate with each other in a courteous “businesslike” manner.
  • Are on time and have children ready at exchange time.
  • Avoid any communication that may lead to conflict at exchange time.
  • Encourage the children to carry “important” items such as clothing, toys and security blankets with them between the parents’ homes.
  • Follow reasonably similar routines for mealtime, bedtime and homework time.
  • Communicate about rules and discipline in order to handle them in similar ways.
  • Support contact with grandparents and other extended family so the children do not experience a sense of loss.
  • Are flexible in developing parenting plans to accommodate their child’s extracurricular activities and special family celebrations.
  • Make time to spend alone with their children when the parent has a new partner.
  • Are with their children during scheduled times and communicate with their children when they cannot be with them.
  • Respect the other parent’s scheduled times with children and do not schedule plans that will conflict.
  • Discuss any proposed schedule changes directly with the other parent.
  • Support the child’s relationship with the other parent and trust the other’s parenting skills.
  • Assure the children that they did not cause the divorce and that they do not have the power to reverse the process.

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