Coping With Co-Parenting: How Fathers And Mothers Can Work Together
February 24, 2012
In an ideal situation, a child will grow up in a home with both parents present. Unfortunately, the reality is many children will be raised in a single parent home for a variety of reasons. In those cases where Mom and Dad aren’t able to be together, they can still be effective co-parents for their children. Below are some ways co-parenting can work in the long run.
- Understanding Parenting Differences – Everyone has their own style of being a parent. If both parents work together on being good to their children, the style differences should not matter. Instead, take time to learn each other’s points of view and be fair when listening to each other. If the discussion becomes emotional or you feel angered, step away and come back later after you’ve given the issue space. It won’t be easy, but working in tandem only benefits your child overall.
- Be Empathic – If your child lives primarily with the mother, try to understand the burden she carries daily in caring for your child. Do your best to place yourself in her shoes and try to understand the mother’s thoughts, feelings and points of view. Look at things from her side before discussing ways you feel she can parent differently.
- Keep Open Lines Of Communication – This is especially important if the father is not in the same area as their child. Allow space for each other to talk openly about your child’s development and other concerns you may have. Always have an open mind when it comes to suggestions the mother has regarding your parenting style. Further, communicate your criticisms carefully and never include the child in those discussions. There is a time for family discussions but there is also a necessity for parents to have separate conversations as well.
Children who have the loving support of both their father and mother will do better in life. The children will be less stressed if their parents value and respect each other. When it comes to discipline and other tough decisions, try your best to include the mother and agree as a unit on how to administer the punishment. This will show your child that in times both good and bad, their parents have their best interests at the forefront.