Putting kids first with co-parenting

Making the commitment to consciously put children first is an integral part of making co-parenting work for divorced spouses.

It is understandable for divorcing spouses in Texas to want to put their past marriages behind them and start fresh. However, when minor children are involved this is not generally possible. It is important for children to retain strong bonds with both of their parents when and where possible. For this reason, divorced spouses must find ways to work together even after they are no longer married.

What is co-parenting?

As the name implies, co-parenting is working with another person to parent. While that may sound simple in theory, the reality is often anything but. However, the Co-parenting Guide makes it clear that one simple principle should guide parents' actions.

That principle is ensuring that kids remain connected to both parents. This conscious thought can help moms and dads to keep kids at the center of their decisions and actions. This may actually facilitate better outcomes compared to when parents focus on each other's actions. Parental wishes or disagreements should always take a back seat to the needs of the children.

How can parents reduce conflict?

Kids and parents alike do better when in environments with low levels of conflict. Certainly former spouses know how to trigger negative emotions in each other whether intentionally or unintentionally. MindBodyGreen recommends that parents work hard to avoid reacting immediately to things that may set them off.

A good tactic to employ when feeling irritated at the other parent is to ask for time to think something over and then revisit it later. This gives both people a cooling-off period that may facilitate more positive outcomes and reduced conflict.

Psychology Today adds that making the conscious effort to say kind or positive things about a former spouse in the presence of kids sends valuable messages to children. It can also develop a generally more positive environment that facilitates reduced conflict.

When and how should parents communicate?

There will be times when parents need to discuss important matters and sometimes even difficult ones. This should not be done in the presence or earshot of children. When exchanging children, moms and dads should keep conversations light and pleasant.

Parents might want to schedule times to talk when they know the children will not be around. This may be in person or via phone.

Where else can parents get support?

By guiding people through the legalities of a divorce, an attorney may also be able to help divorcing Texas spouses co-parent more effectively. This may be done by helping people to know that the legal aspects of a divorce are properly handled, thereby freeing them up emotionally to focus on their children more fully.