When a marriage ends and children are involved, the whole family goes through a period of adjustment, which can be emotionally challenging and mentally draining for everyone.
For many parents, watching their children suffer is one of the most crushing aspects of divorce. While experiencing sadness is inevitable, there are tools parents have to make the process easier for their children.
Co-parenting in action
The decision to co-parent is a mutual decision between both parents to continue raising their children together as amicably as possible, primarily for the benefit of the children.
Research shows that co-parenting is highly effective in mitigating the negative aspects of divorce that children often experience, which is promising. However, co-parenting does not come without its challenges. Common mistakes parents make when co-parenting include:
- Being inflexible with the other parent
- Exhibiting intolerant behavior toward the other parent
- Speaking ill of the other parent to their child
- Trying to win or compete for their child’s love
All these mistakes are common, and making them does not mean co-parenting is doomed. Understanding that though you may experience difficulties, you can overcome them and continue co-parenting is critical to recentering yourself and showing up for your child.
Parents who view co-parenting as a process rather than a destination tend to find that they are more forgiving of their mistakes, able to bounce back easier after making a mistake and are happier overall.
No parent is perfect, and there is no one way of being the best parent. Ideally, in a divorce situation where children are involved, the parents always keep the child’s best interests in mind, especially when making decisions that can have a long-term impact on the child.