The term co-parenting might fill you with dread. Working together with someone you can no longer bear to live with may seem impossible. Yet many parents successfully do it.
Co-parenting is one of many complex relationships you may have
Your idea of how to parent together may come from how you parented before. Once you divorce, you need to think about your relationship as more business orientated than personal. Here are three myths which it is essential to dispel:
- You need to like each other: Think about your workplace. Do you enjoy the company of everyone there? Would you hang out with them in your free time? Probably not. You may have become great friends with some colleagues. Others are people you tolerate. Yet, you can all work together to get the job done.
- You need to agree with each other: Think about work again. Do you agree with your boss or colleagues on everything? What about with your parents, or brothers and sisters? You cannot expect to agree with people on everything. Different opinions are valuable.
- You need to spend time together: It is possible to co-parent and only see each other when you hand over the child. You could both attend sports games or graduation but sit on opposite sides of the room. However, it is not ideal. Sitting next to each other at a parent’s evening or a birthday party may be hard but should become easier with time as the wounds heal.
As divorcing parents, your child’s well-being should be your primary concern. The better you can work together as parents once you are no longer spouses, the better it will be for your child.