, Salem, MA


November 8, 2013

Tips to improve co-parenting


As difficult as co-parenting is for married couples, it’s even more challenging for many divorced couples. Communication is often tainted by financial strains, jealousy over ex-spouses’ new relationships and unresolved conflicts over marital issues long past. In this climate, the children end up losing and, unless parents decide to work together or compromise, often develop additional problems as a result of parent disagreements.

Tips to help separated and divorced parents co-parent effectively:

Separate feelings from behavior. Regardless of how angry parents are, emotions need to be kept at bay in front of the children. Parents need to find outlets for negative emotions that do not involve the children. Remember that parents who manage emotions do not allow ex-partners to dominate their parent-child interactions.

Children are not messengers. Using your child as a messenger is a set-up for them to feel caught in the middle. Inevitably, they will get something wrong and, in the process, you’ve thrown them in the center of the conflict.

Stay neutral. Communicating negative feelings about an ex in front of children can trigger them to feel that part of them is bad; after all, they are half your ex. Thus, parents need to refrain from making negative comments about each other.

Communicate with a neutral, business-like tone. When communicating with an ex, a detached tone is the most effective. Parents can make requests of each other, not demands.

Commit to ongoing communication. Communicating often shows interest and commitment to a child’s needs. Control conversations by keeping them kid-focused and away from anything personal.

Consistency. If possible, arrange a consistent schedule and routine that both parents adhere to. Don’t make changes without getting an ex’s support. Try to establish rules and discipline procedures that are similar across settings, including use of technology. When compromise and agreement do not seem possible, explain to the children that each parent makes the rules for their home.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Monday's Best Bets Best Bets for Monday, July 28

    Looking for something to do today? Check out The Salem News' Best Bets.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dear Abby: Son-in-law’s abusive father makes gatherings painful Dear Abby: I adore my son-in-law, "Tom." He's a wonderful husband to our daughter. He's always inviting us to dinner along with his parents and family. We get along with them but can't stand how they treat Tom. We have never seen parents treat their

    July 28, 2014

  • This weekend's Best Bets Best Bets for Saturday, July 26

    Looking for something to do today? Check out The Salem News' Best Bets:

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • North Shore religion news in brief Congregation Shirat Hayam is offering a free, five-week Hebrew Reading Crash Course on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. from Sept. 2 through Oct. 7, at the synagogue, 55 Atlantic Ave., Swampscott. Led by Nancy Miller, the course is open to the community and is

    July 26, 2014

  • North Shore religion calendar Wednesday, July 30 Book Club, 7 p.m., Aviv Centers for Living, 240 Lynnfield St., Peabody. Women of all ages are invited to a free book group with conversations about Jewish identity. Group will discuss "The Harem Midwife" by Roberta Rich. RSVP to Sh

    July 26, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Teen is looking for direction after high school graduation Dear Abby: I am an 18-year-old high school senior who is scared about what's going to happen after graduation. For the past three years I have known exactly where I'll be and what I will be doing in the general sense. Now that I have one more year to

    July 26, 2014

  • macaws Vet Connection: Pet birds need training, social interaction and time out of the cage People are fascinated with the big colorful birds on display at Animal Kingdom and wild bird sanctuaries. It's always fascinating to see someone walking down the street with a big-beaked bird on his or her shoulder as a companion. We are all drawn to

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ask Dog Lady: Her little dog is obsessed with food Dear Dog Lady: I have a 3-year-old, long-coated Chihuahua named Mexipep (after a brand of hot sauce). She has many fine attributes -- she's very sweet, not nervous and barky like the short-coated Chihuahuas can be. On the subject of food, however, th

    July 25, 2014

  • howe Book Notes: Local novelist sees ‘conversion’ syndrome in witch trials The parallels between 1692 and today are so close, they're frightening. That's one conclusion you could draw from reading "Conversion," Marblehead resident Katherine Howe's new novel, which compares the world of the Salem Witch Trials to the life of

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • vehicles Quick pick: Festival of vehicles

    Festival of vehicles Take a ride over to the Hamilton-Wenham Public Library for the 16th annual Vehicle Night on Wednesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The festival of fire trucks, emergency vehicles, cruisers and snow plows takes place in the library park

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

NDN Video
Comments Tracker