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Laying the foundation for Co-Parenting

The dictionary defines parenting as a process of promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social, financial and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood.

Coparenting by definition is the situation where the parents are not together in marriage or a romantic relationship. Coparenting parents take care of their children together but in two different households. Both definitions emphasize on caring for the child. As the parents it is your duty to do what is in the best interest of your children.

Coparenting peacefully with your ex will give your children stability and will allow the child to build a healthy bond with both parents. I can help you pour the foundation for coparenting however it's up to you to lay the bricks. Coparenting can be tricky and sometimes emotionally draining, putting aside relationship issues to co-parent agreeably can be stressful.

Despite the challenges it will bring, it is possible to develop a cordial working relationship with your ex for the sake of your children. With these tips, you can remain calm, stay consistent, and avoid or resolve conflict with your ex and make joint custody work. Basic fundamentals of co-parenting incorporate these 5 core steps, if you can implement these steps you'll be on the right path.

1. Clarify Parenting roles, be clear on who does what, who's in charge of a particular circumstance and always have a united front.

2. Be in the moment, be aware of your emotions. Believe in yourself enough to put words to your feelings and communicate them, do not accuse, be authentic and when expressing what your feeling use the word "I". Do not attack or accuse your ex of anything. This is about you and expressing how you feel not about cutting them down.

3. Encourage teamwork with your ex.

When speaking about your children, it's shouldn't be this is "my" child, it should be, these are "our" children. When coparenting amicably the verbiage used is always "our" child.

4. Take control of what you can, you can only hold yourself accountable for your own reactions and actions. If your ex can't meet your expectations, then the only thing you can control is your expectations. Find a solution to the problem, instead of arguing and pointing fingers find a solution and see if you can bring your co-parenting partner into agreement. Show them pros and cons of your solution and come to an understanding to find a middle ground.

5. Agree on boundaries. This is vital to any relationship. Setting limits to let the person know exactly what you are asking for or what you will not tolerate. You need to model what you want and be a decent person as you interact with one another, this will set precedents on how your co-parenting relationship will evolve.

It's interesting, we tell our children to be nice to everyone at school, even the ones they don't get along with and here we are as adults, parents, not getting along. We can't ask our children to do something if we can't lead by example.

Remember your child is learning and you are their greatest teacher. Step up to the plate and hit a home run. It might not always be home run but you're swinging and that's what counts. The best gift that you can give your children is two happy, healthy parents.

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