Making decisions with regards to a child’s upbringing is difficult enough when the parents are married to one another and have a generally healthy relationship. When a Pennsylvania couple divorces and now has to agree on matters such as which holiday will be spent with which parent and which religion the child will grow up practicing, it can add tension to an already strained relationship. Co-parenting is hard enough in the best of situations and divorce often ends up aggravating issues.
Parents badmouthing one another, asking children to choose one parent over the other, commenting on one another’s living conditions, blaming one another for the divorce or not adhering to the parenting schedule can have a negative impact on the child’s psychological and emotional development. Children can become depressed, self destructive and have behavioral parents. It is important for parents to keep their children’s best interests in mind during and after the divorce by choosing to co-parent healthily.
Co-parenting refers to the parent’s relationship as they raise their children from two different households. Some ways to ensure things go smoothly is to focus on making the experience about the children and not about the divorced parents. For example, when transitioning from one home to the other, it is normal for one parent to remember their past with their ex-partner. Rather than focus on that though, the focus should be on making the process smooth and easy for the children and not to dwell on the past.
Healthy co-parenting also involves remembering the purpose behind family functions. Rather than engage in acrimonious conversation with one another, parents can choose to celebrate their child’s milestones and remember they are there to add to their children’s happiness. Similarly, it is important not to get distressed if a child prefers to discuss a specific incident with one parent over the other.
Even if parents do not particularly like their court-ordered parenting plan, they should adhere to it, because it is in their child’s best interests. Another step can be to initially create a parenting plan that both parties agree to. an experienced attorney can help and negotiate between the two parties.