Child Custody and Coparenting

Child Custody
While the mother usually got custody of the children in the past, several states are now asking parents to come up with a shared parenting plan. It’s been effective in reducing the rate of divorce in affected states. What does this mean? That divorcing parents need to learn the ins and outs of coparenting.

Effective and friendly coparenting after divorce is necessary to a child’s wellbeing. Children of parents who cooperate after a divorce have better self-esteem and perform better at school. Effective coparenting is about negotiating how you and your partner will share the everyday parenting responsibilities. Here are some tips to develop effective shared parenting techniques:

1. Establish Positive Communication Techniques: Be clear and non-defensive when you communicate with your partner. Actively listen and then rephrase what your partner has just said; this will let your partner know you’re listening and will also ensure that you understand each other clearly. Also, focus on the issue at hand until it’s resolved—this will help you to avoid arguing.

2. No Arguing and No Criticizing: Never criticize your partner in front of your child. It’s stressful for a child to feel like he’s ‘in the middle.’ Also, psychological studies have shown that when someone criticizes another person that criticism effectively rubs off on the person who is criticizing for whoever is listening. For example, if you’re complaining about your ex-husband’s irresponsible behaviors in front of your child, your child will actually perceive you as an irresponsible person. This is a powerful reason to never criticize your partner.

3. Agree or Compromise: When deciding how to run your child’s daily life, remember that your child needs to get the same message from each parent. Therefore, it’s necessary that you communicate and agree on your child’s daily schedule and disciplining. If you can’t agree, then work on a compromise to the situation.

4. Never Put Your Child in the Middle: Don’t use your child as a spy or messenger between you and your husband. This is a stressful burden to your child. Any discussions or disputes need to be handled by you and your partner, alone.

Remember that effective coparenting is very important to offset the harmful effects of divorce on your child’s wellbeing.

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