Divorce is often difficult for children of estranged Washington parents because the lives they have always known will change drastically. To minimize the impact the children will experience, it is essential for both parents to craft a co-parenting plan that will ensure success for all.
Leave children out of adult matters
Too often, parents put children in the middle of discussions about adult matters. Children become confidantes or spies, or they are sometimes pressured to be an ally to one of their parents. Engaging in these practices is psychologically harmful and even toxic. Children develop anxiety, contend with undue stress and can develop negative feelings. It is best to never discuss the details about the divorce or any other adult matters concerning the other parent. Parents who need a confidante should speak with other adults or seek counseling, and children should never feel pressured to love one parent over the other. Let kids be kids.
Always be open to compromise
For co-parenting to work, both parties must compromise wherever possible. Work hard to come to agreements about things, such as child custody and visitation, discipline techniques, extra-curricular activities and settling tough issues.
Treat your co-parenting relationship as a business partnership
When partners go into business together, they craft a plan for how the company will run, and they communicate regularly. If a process is not working, they discuss ways to make changes to make things better. The same is true for a co-parenting relationship. Both parties in the co-parenting arrangement must discuss plans for raising the children and communicate regularly. If there is a process that is not working, both parents must be open to making changes to improve the situation.
While co-parenting is not always easy, it can work if both parties put in the effort. Best of all, the children will benefit, as they will know their parents love and support them, and they will feel safe and secure.