What is coparenting?

After a divorce, parents should find ways to work cooperatively with former spouses for their children’s sake as well as their own.

When faced with the prospect of a divorce, parents in Arkansas understandably worry about the impact on their children. While a divorce may result in children spending less time with each parent than when the parents lived together, it does not have to signal the end of positive parental relationships.

Coparenting has emerged as a new way for divorced parents to raise their children together after a divorce. As explained by the Coparenting Guide, this approach operates on the underlying belief that children should and can maintain strong relationships with both parents even after a divorce.

A kids-first approach

Essentially, coparenting requires that parents consciously put their children’s needs front and center. Any parental discontent or disagreement comes second to what is in the best interest of the children. Primary to this is supporting strong emotional ties to both parents.

Minimizing conflict a priority

Open conflict between parents can stand in the way of children’s relationships with their parents. MindBodyGreen suggests that one way parents can reduce conflict is to avoid the urge to respond to every comment or question immediately. Parents should feel comfortable asking for time to think something over or suggesting that the topic be addressed at a better time. This may be very beneficial when emotions rise as discussing anything can be done better when people are calm.

Communicate carefully

Parents will need to communicate about a lot of things that children need not know about and should select when, where and how to do this with care. Discussing financial details, for example, should not be done when time is limited or when children are present or in earshot of a phone call. Those times are best used for showing polite interactions between parents so children see their moms and dads as partners for their benefit.

Supporting positivity

Psychology Today encourages divorced parents to find opportunities to speak positively about their former spouses to their kids. This may be pointing out something that the other parent does well or acknowledging a nice quality in or action taken by that person.

On the flip side, no type of negative comment about a former spouse should ever be said to or in the presence of a child.

The right help can make a big difference

Coparenting might sound easy but it isn’t always and when stress levels are high, the consciousness required for good coparenting may not be at its peak. Arkansas parents who are getting divorced should work with an attorney during the process. This may help people to feel confident that important matters are being properly handled and therefore allow them to focus on the emotional need of themselves and their children.