Given the inherent nature of divorce and separation it should be no surprise that family law can often be high-conflict, stressful and litigious. While successful co-parenting during and after can be difficult and at times seemingly impossible, it is most often doable with hard work and a willingness to put the needs of the children first. This takes re-framing the relationship with the other parent as a new relationship that exists for the benefit of the child. Successful co-parenting gives children much-needed consistency as parents coordinate similar rules, rewards and discipline.
Children benefit immensely from knowing what to expect and what is expected from them. Cooperation with the other parent additionally provides a positive example to the children, whose patterns in the future will be shaped by how they see parents interact. The Co-Parents’ Handbook by Karen Bonnell and Kristin Little is an excellent guide to navigating this difficult but very rewarding approach to parenting. It is highly recommended for any parent seeking to minimize the harm of divorce or separation on their children.