Separation, divorce… when the spark has gone out and the relationship cannot carry on, there are some of the solutions we choose. It’s hard enough to end a relationship when there are no kids involved, so having a ‘mini-me’ caught in the middle of your break-up is a whole other dimension to this can of worms.
So what do you do? After all, ending the relationship with your partner doesn’t mean your kids need to suffer. This fundamental right for a child to grow up with both parents present has given rise to a relatively new phenomenon: co-parenting.
What is ‘Co-parenting’?
The word co-parenting is used to define the sharing of rights and responsibilities of and over the child between the biological mother and father.
Frankly, the definition is uninspiring and even a little scary. In our opinion, co-parenting should be defined as the relationship that separated parents have with their child(ren). It is the quality of this relationship that will allow co-parenting to be carried out properly.
Good co-parenting is, first of all, a well-thought-out and adapted childcare arrangement for the child’s well-being, but it is also and above all a healthy communication between the parents for the good of their child(ren).
One is not born a parent; one becomes one. Who has never heard this famous saying that reassures as much as it induces panic…?
However, it is true that parenthood is far from being innate, it is acquired at the birth of a child, and it evolves, it grows with him/her over time and the centimetres that he/she gains each year.
The Key For A Co-parenting Arrangement That Works.
We will therefore humbly list what appeared to us to be the most important to start an excellent co-parenting relationship;
Start from the principle that each one of you is doing his best for the child’s well-being and that you both remain the pillars of his life; he needs one as much as the other…
Sharing parental authority means discussing together with all the important decisions that concern your child. Health, education, orientation – all these questions must be discussed between you as calmly as possible.
Share the expenses incurred for your child as equally as possible according to your respective means (in proportion to your incomes and by privileging as much as possible the anticipation of these expenses and contributions to spare you useless tensions).
Maintain healthy, adult and effective communication. It is not necessary to be the best friends in the world, but a minimum of mutual respect is necessary to exchange efficiently and pragmatically. It is also essential not to make your child a messenger, and if you have difficulties speaking simply, you must get help to do so (therapy, mediation…).
Maintain a positive image of the other parent so that the child does not suffer in silence. There is nothing worse for a child than to hear one of his parents denigrate the other by his words or some of his reactions; it is very often the main cause of the malaise that a separation can induce in a child. Even if it is sometimes complicated to contain oneself, it is necessary to do violence to silence one’s resentments towards the other parent in front of our children.
A separation will inevitably leave traces, but if you co-construct a beautiful co-parenting, you preserve the childhood of your children. Sometimes they even live rather well at the end of the parental couple if the spouses are inclined to get along and do everything to avoid tensions. Let us know down in the comment how co-parenting is going for you…