Divorced couples who have young children in Washington quickly learn that one of the most challenging aspects is shared parenting. However, they also quickly learn that making the effort to work together is also worth it. The key to this success is working towards stable, amicable relationships with your child’s other parent and, when it becomes applicable, with any stepparents.
How divorce changes parenting
In many families, one parent takes a primary role as caretaker. When the couple goes through a divorce, this can change in some respects. For one parent, that means taking a more active role in raising their child. For the other, this means learning to share that role. Both changes bring challenges, but if parents are committed to making shared parenting work, they adapt.
Why relationships are so important
One of the factors of divorce is often the breakdown of the relationship between the spouses. When those spouses are also parents, their relationship must continue. So if the parents’ relationship is a high-conflict one, they will need to learn how to communicate, minimize conflict and agree to cooperate to raise their children. This means learning to trust each other when it comes to their parenting skills. It also means developing positive relationships with any stepparents when they become part of the family.
The benefits of shared parenting
Successful shared parenting provides families with many benefits. These include:
- Emotional stability for the children who can see their parents are still committed to them
- Shared support for the parents when making important decisions regarding the children
- Multiple positive role models for the children in their parents and stepparents
- Peace of mind that the children always have responsible adults who love and can care for them
Successful shared parenting might be hard to achieve. However, when parents commit to this, they work together to figure out the best way to make it happen for their family.