You can follow some simple tips and basic rules for the best possible co-parenting results.
By Dr K Kumar
The process of divorce is often painful and it can leave a great dent on the psyche of children involved. Often, this is a long social and legal process and children tend to incline towards one parent more than the other. In some situations, they form opinions about who is the “culprit” and who is the “victim” of these tragic situations. And this whole process leaves children emotionally hurt.
Co-parenting should be approached with sensitivity to avoid a negative mental impact on children. In fact, co-parenting may be difficult if the couple hasn’t recovered from the aftermath of this devastating event of their lives. It can be challenging even if they have recovered from the emotional pain, ego, complexes and instincts to put each other down or blame each other. Good and effective co-parenting comes from having accepted the circumstances and looking to the future rather than brooding over the past.
Couples have to mutually agree to focus on children’s wellbeing as their top priority and keep all other mutual issues separate from child-rearing. To simplify it, here are five things that parents should consider.
Decide: Having taken a decision, which is a very important part of any given situation or activity, it’s important to respect and accept it. Divorcing or divorced parents need to realise that they have separated from each other and not from the children. They need to understand that children didn’t have the choice to stay together. Once you have assimilated this, then it becomes easy to manage your emotions and plan further.
Divide: Having resolved to move ahead, with the focus on the children’s upbringing, divide responsibilities towards the kids. For a healthy and holistic growth, children need both parents for support, guidance, emotions and attachment. One parent may play a significant role in one situation, while the other may be indispensable in the other. Keeping this in mind, parents should divide their responsibilities and try not to interfere in each other’s domains as far as possible.
Accept: It is advisable to keep your ego out of the equation when you are with your children and accept each other’s parental concerns.
Don’t use your children as a medium to convey your dissatisfaction or pull each other down. This can really negatively affect the whole idea of co-parenting. Accept and respect each other’s strength in their upbringing and care.
Share: Children need both the parents. It’s vital for their growth and wellbeing. Sharing them with each other without any hurdles and issues can make them feel really good. During the divorce process, a situation may come when the children remain in one parent’s custody and the custodian parent may use this situation to take revenge from the other parent. Such manipulations benefit neither parent. In fact, it is the children who suffer the most. Sharing is caring when it comes to a co-parenting situation.
Prayer: The process of divorce is overwhelming, filled with pain and bitter feelings for each other. Due to this, the whole psycho physical health tends to get destabilised. During such moments, it is very tough to even accept each other’s presence at times. The children’s roots are linked to both the parents and without empathising with each other, co-parenting will become an uphill task. Pray for each other’s wellbeing. It will not only make co-parenting easier but also give one strength to emerge stronger from the situation. Internal harmony is a prerequisite to give children a solid foundation in life. Prayer is a powerful and effective way to create this.
(The writer is Chief Consultant and Founder of Dr Kumar’s Lifestyle Center.)