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Co-parenting can be messy, awkward, and just plain complicated. Unfortunately, no one gives you instructions on how to co-parent after you and your partner separate. However, you are raising a child, and it isn’t about how uncomfortable it is for you to be in the same room as your ex. When our clients begin therapy at Family-Strategies, we often have to give them ‘the talk’ – that you are not doing this for you. Your child is the actual client here. You are making it work so they can have a peaceful life. The sooner you can get co-parenting down, the sooner your child will benefit and thrive.

What is Co-Parenting?

Coparenting might be new to you, or you might be the child of co-parents. Successful co-parents find that their divorce has a smaller impact on their children than those divorces with high conflict. Co-parenting puts the needs of your children first. Children have a right to have both their parents regularly involved in their lives, as long as both parents are deemed safe and appropriate. Coparenting is:

  • Continuously finding solutions to meet your children’s needs and interests
  • Joint-decision making about your children’s lives
  • Getting used to sharing time and parental responsibilities  
man anger management

How Can I Know if We Could be Successful Co-Parents?

Unfortunately, not every family will benefit from co-parenting counseling. There are a few qualifications you must have for counseling to work. You and your co-parent must be willing to cooperate to make this process work. Your child should not feel shame or guilt when spending time with you or the other parent. We recommend that you and your co-parenting partner must:

  • Want to put the needs of the child first
  • Ready to Learn
  • Ready to Let go of the past
married couple with baby

What Kinds of Things Can a Co-Parent Help With?

Everyone’s experience with co-parenting counseling is different. Based on your family’s needs, your therapist will help you work through various aspects of your relationship with each other and your children. Some examples of these are:

  • How to talk to your kids about the divorce
  • How to Handel Pick-ups & Drop-offs
  • How to interact without a fight breaking out
  • How to reduce stressors you be intentionally or unintentionally putting on one another
  • Talking through the legal side of divorce
  • How to treat being a co-parent like a business

Conclusion

Co-parenting can be challenging, but it does not have to be impossible. Successful co-parents find that their divorce is less stressful on their children and leads to a better relationship in the long run. Working with a co-parenting counselor will help you and your co-parent learn how to cooperate for the benefit of your children. Your counselor will encourage you to treat raising your children like a business so that both you and your co-parent are working towards the same goals.

Family Strategies Counseling and Mediation is a strategic family counseling office located in Homewood, IL. We offer mental health counseling, couples counseling, anger management, and child therapy. See our about page to see which of our therapists are currently booking in-person and online appointments!