co-parenting techniques are needed in our societies today to help curb many family problems that have persisted over the years. Co-parenting according to the Wikipedia is a “situation where two parents work together to raise a child even though they are divorced, separated or are no longer living together. Through this process, the child’s parents seek to maintain equal or some type of shared responsibility to benefit the child’s upbringing”.
Divorce and separation among married couples has become very rampant in our societies today, even among Christians despite the fact that God frowns upon divorce. The family system is facing serious attacks by the forces of darkness, which is resulting in the high cases of divorce and separation among married couples today.
As a show of goodwill among couples towards their child or children, some parents have adopted co-parenting as a means of catering for the child’s holistic needs. This has of course not been without challenges.
Dr. Edward Kruk, a parenting expert, points out the fact that, “children of divorce benefit from strong and healthy relationships with both parents and they need to be shielded from their parents’ conflicts”. He writes, “Some parents, however, in an effort to bolster their parental identity, create an expectation that children choose sides.
In more extreme situations, they foster the child’s rejection of the other parent. In the most extreme cases, children are manipulated by one parent to hate the other, despite children’s innate desire to love and be loved by both parents.”
Virginia Gilbert, an author, also points out that “co-parenting is an option only when both ex-spouses support the other parent and respect their right to have a good relationship with the children”. She writes, “But some people never get to acceptance. They become, essentially, addicted to anger.
They convince themselves that the other parent is incompetent, mentally ill, or dangerous. They transmit this conviction directly or indirectly not only to the children, but also to school staff, mental health professionals and anyone else who will listen.”
The views of these two experts and the experiences of other divorcees, clearly tells us that when co-parenting is not properly done, it could lead to a very harmful and hostile relationship, not only between the parents but also the children as well.
In view of this, I have presented 7 co-parenting techniques by which parents can co-parent today to the mutual benefit of all parties involved.
- Prayer: this is number one on my list of effective co-parenting techniques because I believe strongly that you can never do it all alone. You will need divine guidance and direction in carrying out this task of co-parenting. Even with couples together, the direction of God is very important to attaining a successful family life. With prayer, God would take charge of the child and the parents as well and ensure that they bring up the child according to the will of God.
- Forgive Yourself: this is very important as well. The process of admitting your faults and mistakes and letting go of the past will work greatly in your new role as a co-parent. When you forgive yourself, it means you have moved on into a new life ready to begin all over again.
- Forgive One Another: after forgiving yourself, the next step is to forgive one another. If you don’t forgive yourself first, it would be very difficult to forgive another person. Let by gone be by gone and know that the child is the ultimate goal of your co-parenting. Also don’t forget that the child observes both of you, and a show of forgiveness teaches the child a great value in life.
- Complement Each Other: you might not have done this in your marriage or you might have done it any way, hence making this co-parenting technique a bit out of place. They gist here is to use each other’s strength for the benefit the child’s development. Go for the positives and not the negatives to carry out a successful co-parenting task.
- Be Open to Each other’s Suggestions: although this might be difficult, you should be open minded to the suggestions each side brings and see how to carry them out together. This is better than being a strong headed and self centered. It might not be in the interest of the child.
- Show Gratitude: always show gratitude to the support you get from your partner. Though it is his or her responsibility, showing a sign of gratitude always empowers your partner to do more for both you and the child.
- Plan Together: this also tells you not to be self centered but to involve your partner in the co-parenting role. Planning together ensures that you both go for the best with regards to your child’s holistic development.
The above points are not all the effective co-parenting techniques you can employ in your life but they are the fundamental truth every relationship needs to embrace whether divorced or together. I believe that these steps can revive marriages that have gone sour and even bring back couples who have separated or divorced. Remember you can’t do it all by yourself, God loves you and want the best for you and your family.
God bless you.