With millions of divorced people co-parenting around the country, they must have the tools and information they need to do it successfully. While there are different ways of co-parenting, some will lead to better results and less stress, making them worth learning about and trying to implement. Dads' Resource Center helps put cooperative co-parenting in the spotlight so that more people can have a positive experience and better outcomes.
"Relationships don’t always work out, but when there are children involved parents can’t just walk away.” said Dads’ Resource Center Executive Director Jeffrey Steiner. “When you have children you are committed to them for life. If parents separate, they need to find a way to work together on behalf of their sons and daughters.”
Many divorced parents have the child going to each home and having a different experience. There are different rules, and there's very little communication between the parents and a lot of stress results. This is referred to as parallel parenting because there are two lives and experiences parallel to one another. While it's common, it's not an ideal situation.
A more peaceful route that brings about a better experience and healthier outcomes is cooperative co-parenting. This is when the two parents agree to be unified in raising their child. They both communicate effectively regarding the child, there is low conflict, and the child gets a more seamless experience. This requires parents to set aside any anger or resentment they have for one another and to put the child's needs and health first.
Here are 5 tips for improving co-parenting relationships:
- Become cooperative. Make a goal of adopting a cooperative co-parenting relationship. Both parents need to be on board with this to succeed.
- Choose communication. Determine what communication style works best and then stick with it whenever possible. Some people prefer texting, while others would rather have phone calls.
- Get scheduled. Create a schedule that works for both parents so there are no questions about how the week or month will go. Both parents need to be somewhat flexible, so there is wiggle room for unexpected things that may arise.
- Create consistency. Kids need consistency from one home to the other when it comes to the rules and expectations. Agree to some household rules across both houses, especially regarding curfews and activities not allowed.
- Get help. Some people may struggle to put a cooperative co-parenting plan in place. That doesn’t mean it’s time to give up. Instead, seek professional help from someone who can give guidance on the topic. It may be something that needs to be worked on over time.
“Children today face extraordinary pressure,” said Dads’ Resource Center Founder and Chair Dr. Joel N. Myers. “With the internet and social media, they are bombarded by negative outside influences. The high costs for post-secondary education and our rapidly evolving job market make it increasingly difficult for them to plan for their future. Now more than ever, there is an urgent need for both parents to be fully involved in the upbringing and lives of their children.”
Dads' Resource Center was started by Dr. Myers, a father of eight and the founder and CEO of AccuWeather. The mission is to help combat the issues associated with children growing up without their fathers in the home. At its heart, the center is a child advocacy organization that aims to ensure that each child has the appropriate involvement and contributions from both parents. To get more information, visit the site at: www.dadsrc.org.
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