How to Co-Parent Successfully

Taken from our e-book, “Unwrapping the Gift of Stepfamily Peace,” I want to share some thoughts on  how to make co-parenting work.

Our son, Nathan, hangs with a friend whose parents are divorced. Nathan came back from a birthday party, talking about meeting his friend’s dad for the first time. As the conversation ensued, I learned both parents were at their son’s party and casually spoke with one another throughout the evening. I remember thinking to myself, what a blessing they’ve given their son.

Not all co-parenting situations can be as amicable, but the goal of co-parenting is to put aside the differences that dissolved your marriage and do your part to have a cooperative relationship.

Stepfamily living brings stress and tension, which easily carries over into the co-parenting relationship. Intentional effort is required to get along, including sacrifices and tongue-taming. If disagreements arise, it’s important to keep them from children’s ears. Adult issues need to be confined to the adults.

Co-parenting doesn’t mean we try to control what is happening in the other parent’s home. When we divorced our spouse, we relinquished control of how our children will be parented in their home. But the biggest challenge of co-parenting, learning how to be amicable in a relationship with someone you couldn’t get along with in marriage, is the link to success when parenting children after divorce.

Successful co-parenting strategies include setting boundaries about how you will be treated. If you’re dealing with a hostile ex-spouse, it often works best to communicate via text or e-mail. Don’t put yourself in a vulnerable situation that could lead to emotional abuse.

Strained co-parenting gives you an opportunity to practice displaying the gifts of the Spirit as defined in Galatians 5:22, 23: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” I know it’s not easy but as our children watch us model kindness and goodness or patience and self-control in the midst of rude or unkind behavior, they learn the value of asserting those qualities in their own lives. And we gain the satisfaction of knowing we took the high road, even when it wasn’t easy.

Drama and stepfamily living too often co-mingle, but you don’t have to let the onslaught of drama ruin your journey. Take every opportunity to conquer it with a positive perspective, peaceful interactions and determined effort to work through the challenges.

What tips can you add to help co-parent successfully?

Related Posts:

Co-Parenting With a Difficult Ex-Spouse

Co-Parenting Collisions

How To Co-Parent Successfully with Your Ex-Spouse

5 Responses to “How to Co-Parent Successfully”

  1. 1 Sharon November 7, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    My ex and I get along really well. We established early on in the divorce process that neither of us would try to seek revenge through our daughter or through money. This laid a great foundation for us to work together and get along. I do all I can to make sure my daughter has a relationship with her dad and his parents, so we are all still able to get along. My husband’s ex on the other hand has spent the last several years lying to the kids, friends, and anyone she knows about my husband. She uses the kids against him, tries to get them to hate him, is always seeking power and control and revenge. She admits she hates that his life is going well for him and when things go well in our house we know we can expect a tantrum of sorts from her. Forgiving your ex and really letting go is the only way to a peaceful relationship. As long as you hold on to resentment and bitterness – everyone will pay the ugly price, particularly the kids. If its your ex who is holding on and still seeking revenge, all you can do is pray for him or her though. You cannot force that person into changing.

    • 2 Step Parenting with Grace November 8, 2012 at 7:40 pm

      Thank you for your comment Sharon. You have shared some wise words, “As long as you hold on to resentment and bitterness, everyone will pay the ugly price, particularly the kids.” The kids don’t deserve to pay that price. Good for you that you’ve made such a positive effort in your stepfamily. God bless you.

  2. 3 sweetv33 November 16, 2012 at 4:55 am

    i have also written something similar to your blog! your blog is fantastic 🙂

    here is the one I wrote.. i hope you dont mind that i share

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