Co-parenting Tips from a Licensed Therapist

Healthy co-parenting tipsmass appeal
By Michelle Misiaszek

Co-parenting can be tricky, especially if you don’t get along with your ex, but how can you make it easier for your kids? Licensed Therapist Christian Smith, from Change Happens, Inc. in Chicopee shared important tips for separated parents.

Healthy Co-Parenting Tips

Remember no situation is the same, each one has its own unique dynamic.

Diligently clarify expectations – this is a communication tip that is intended to help all parties involved take responsibility for developing realistic and mutual expectations. Coparenting is about partnership and any partnership means clearly defined and communicate expectations.

Allow room for frustration and disappointment- Many adults in a co-parenting situation express significant frustration with how challenging it is especially if there are pre-existing relational problems which is usually the case. often times coparenting situations resemble single-parent situations and that the burden lies heavily on one parent more than the other. The inherent difficulty in this demands patience and grace from a situation that often feels like less than ideal. Sometimes is very helpful for adults who have support in the form of family friends counselors etc.

Avoid emotionally heated exchanges – In the “heat of the moment” many regrettable things are done and said. The fact that you no longer want this relationship must be tempered by the fact that you are bound to this person doing one of the most difficult jobs there are, parenting. Being calm and communicating when calm will help you to brave this road for the long-haul. Find ways to calm yourself and have standards about communicating for yourself do not allow yourself to communicate emotionally charged if you feel your heart racing your blood pressure rising or yourself generally getting charged back away

Similarly avoiding negative talk about your child’s parent around them will prevent a level of Useless toxicity

A word of caution if you are moving towards a separation make sure that you have done everything possible to work through the relationship. Oftentimes couples find that separation with children only makes things more complicated because you still have to learn how to work together which is often why couples don’t work out because they have not yet learned how to work together.

First published October 1, 2015 on WWLP:

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