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What is Co-Parenting, and Why Do It?

“Co-parenting” (sometimes called “shared parenting”) is when both parents work together as a team to raise their children, even after the marriage or romantic relationship is over. This is not a skill that most people are taught, so you may have to do some learning along the way to find out the best way to co-parent in your family. This guide will give you some helpful tips to start learning to co-parent.

Many parents have found it helps to take co-parenting or shared parenting classes, both to learn new skills and to hear from other parents who are going through a similar situation.

The main reason to work at co-parenting is that it helps children deal with all the changes that happen when their parents are no longer together. Even though you may not want to talk to the other parent after the romantic relationship ends, you still have a very important relationship, and it’s the most important one of all: a parenting relationship.

All children need the love and support of both their mother and father. Parents who live apart can still provide these things if they work together and put anger and conflict aside.

Communicating With the Other Parent

When talking to the other parent after a breakup, you may feel the urge to scream, shout, or do other things to tell him or her about the pain and hurt you are feeling. Do everything you can to avoid doing this when your kids can hear you. If talking face-to-face is hard (especially right after the breakup), you might want to use e-mail or even written notes or letters to avoid bringing up old emotional fights.

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