8 Must Read Co-Parenting Articles

Co-parenting is a great way to create a happy, healthy family after divorce. But it’s still a relatively new concept, and it can be hard to find co-parenting articles to answer questions that come up. Nikki DeBartolo and Ben Heldfond share a lot of co-parenting tips from the trenches in their book,
Our Happy Divorce. These include simple things like syncing up calendars, to enjoying regular family dinners where both parents are present. 

But Nikki and Ben’s co-parenting methods aren’t the only ones that work. Lots of people are talking about co-parenting and sharing advice to help people be better parents after divorce. Here’s what other experts and co-parents are doing to keep the kids front and center. 

Best Advice from Co-Parenting Articles

We’ve read lots of co-parenting articles. We’ve listened to podcasts and spent time with other authors and coaches who are committed to the same mission. Empower people to approach divorce differently. Here is a collection of some of the best advice we’ve come across.

Co-Parenting Advice #1: Be Objective

HelpGuide.org digs into how to keep co-parenting positive in their article ‘Co-Parenting Tips for Divorced Parents.’ The article shares great advice about working through hurt feelings and how you can shield your kids from negativity during the divorce. 

Best piece of advice: Moving forward, think of your relationship with your former spouse as a business partnership.

Co-Parenting Advice #2: Communicate Often

Being able to reach each other when needed makes co-parenting simpler. Oprah Magazine’s ‘How to Co-Parent Successfully’ explains how important it is to be accessible to your co-parent. Being accessible includes answering the phone when it rings and promptly responding to texts about the kids.

Best piece of advice: Keep communicating as a team, even when it’s hard.

Co-Parenting Advice #3: Check-In with Each Other

Today’s Parent published a great article on ‘11 Ways to Make Co-Parenting Not Suck.’ Dawn Calleja recommends making a parenting plan that includes as much detail as possible to ensure everything flows smoothly. Be sure to cover birthdays, holidays, pickup and drop-off times, how kids will be picked up or dropped off, how long before significant others will be introduced, and social media use. 

Best piece of advice: Don’t forget to schedule co-parenting check-ins (in the parenting plan if necessary to keep you accountable) to keep the lines of communication open.

Co-Parenting Advice #4: Be Open to Growing

This Psychology Today article does a great job of helping parents understand some of the challenges they might face with their co-parent. It also breaks down two different problem-solving techniques co-parents can use to deal with issues that may come up over the years. 

Best piece of advice: Be prepared for co-parenting to challenge you to think differently about your parenting style and your ex.

Co-Parenting Advice #5: Don’t Give Up

Medium contributor Heather Buen, MBA, shares the 6 Best Resources for a Positive Co-Parenting Environment that she’s compiled from her own experience. Heather does a great job of keeping it real and acknowledging that co-parenting is a lot of work. From education resources to scheduling tools, she shares what has helped her communicate effectively and focus on what’s best for her child.

Best piece of advice: Just because co-parenting doesn’t work at first doesn’t mean it won’t ever work. As people evolve after divorce, so does their ability to communicate and co-parent.

Co-Parenting Advice #6: Set Boundaries

Every so often, evaluate your co-parenting relationship, and embrace how far you’ve come. Very Well Family’s  ’10 Signs of a Healthy, Effective Co-Parenting Relationship’ shares a great checklist for co-parents. From evaluating how you communicate to identifying how often you rely on the other parent for help with the kids, it’s a great set of goals to guide your co-parenting efforts. 

Best piece of advice: Boundaries are great! Realizing what you can control and ultimately what you have no say in can keep your interactions with your ex positive.

Co-Parenting Advice #7: Put on Your Empathy Hat

Empathy can be one of a parent’s most valuable tools. Mediate.com gives parents insight into what their kids may be feeling during divorce and how mom and dad can help. By understanding where your children are coming from, you’re better able to communicate in a way they will understand. 

Best piece of advice: Give kids a simple explanation of why the separation took place without putting down the other parent.   

Co-Parenting Advice #8: Be Flexible

While a clear, detailed parenting plan is helpful in keeping co-parents on the same page, everyone should understand that things change. Dad’s Divorce shares ‘A Guide to Successful Co-Parenting with Your Ex.’ Shawn Garrison recommends being flexible about scheduling conflicts. There are times when what’s best for the kids won’t be what’s outlined in the parenting plan. 

Best piece of advice: Above all else, shield your kids from conflict and work together for what’s best for them. 

Co-parenting takes practice, patience, humility and commitment. Not many people say that it’s easy. But most will tell you that it’s definitely worth it. 

Whether you’re new to co-parenting, or a seasoned pro, we’d love for you to share your experiences with our community. Head on over to the ‘Our Happy Divorce Group’ on Facebook and tell us which co-parenting articles have been most helpful to you. 

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