As parent, doing the best for your children is critical. Perhaps you’ve recently gone through a divorce, legal separation, or other custody issues. After the legal guidelines are set for child custody and visitation, the focus should automatically turn to the children. Of course, they’ll need time to adjust to the new situation … and as a parent, you’ll need to learn new methods of parenting to help with the adjustment to create a healthy, thriving environment. Remember, you must abide by all court guidelines regarding child custody arrangements.
The Importance of Communication after a Split
Many parents don’t realize the remarkable value of communication in making decisions involving the children, but of course, ending an adult relationship does not end the parental responsibilities. The parental relationship must continue to help children grow into healthy, well-adjusted adults.
Keep in mind that the parental relationship will last for many years—discussions and decisions about education, holiday visits, medical care, college and weddings generally involve both parents. Children may feel guilty or upset if both parents are not present at important events.
Of course, there are many parenting theories and helpful suggestions available. Finding the best parenting method for your personal circumstance is vital for maintaining a civil parental relationship. Defining co-parenting and parallel parenting methods may help in making a choice that is best for you and your children.
What is Co-Parenting?
Co-parenting requires both parents to work together in raising the children. Even though the relationship is over, the parents of any minor children must set aside their personal differences to maintain equal child-rearing responsibilities. In an ideal co-parenting relationship, the parents will engage in open dialogue regarding the children’s upbringing.
The co-parenting method is beneficial to children in numerous ways:
- Security: When parents engage effectively in communication, children will feel more confident with their new living arrangements. Security and confidence will lead to a positive adjustment to the new situation.
- Clear Expectations: Consistency with both parents helps children understand their role in each new living situation. Rules and guidelines should be similar in each household.
- Providing a Role Model: Children who see parents work together after a divorce will learn about expectations and communication. The basic skills will help children build and maintain future healthy relationships.
- Resolution Skills: Children will learn diplomacy to aid in future conflict resolution techniques.
Co-parenting skills help in building strong social and emotionally balanced children. Co-parenting is not for every parental relationship, as the method requires a strong commitment from both parents which may be difficult after ending a relationship. Succeeding with co-parenting requires honest communication and a willingness to cooperate over the child’s welfare.
What is Parallel Parenting?
The benefits of parallel parenting are often the same as co-parenting. As each parent commits to the concept of focusing on the well-being of the children, children will learn by example. The difference is the communication method.
In some situations following the end of a relationship, the former couple may still be in high conflict mode with one another. The parents simply cannot communicate with one another with any type of civility or respect. The use of parallel parenting restricts the way parents communicate with one another through disengagement practices. The method helps each parent focus on the child’s well-being without creating conflict in front of them.
Restricting the communication helps keep the focus solely on the children. Under some circumstances, parents require limited or complete avoidance of verbal communication. Parents learn to communicate with other methods. Through parallel parenting, children will not witness any type of disrespect between the parents.
The parallel parenting method includes:
- Limited communication with the walking on egg shells approach. The approach requires each parent to carefully decide on the words to use in each conversation, especially when children are present.
Basically, if you cannot communicate in an efficient and cordial manner with a former spouse, using parallel communication is the best option. During the limited times of communication, parents must handle each conversation with extreme care. Removing the chances of conflict is the main idea behind the parallel parenting method. As a parent, you should always remember your children are watching and learning from you. Learning how to effectively engage in conflict resolution will provide your children with valuable resources for the future.
Work Toward an Ideal Outcome: Call a Top Child Custody Lawyer
If you feel you are not receiving enough time with your children, legal representation is crucial. Your children are the most important aspect of your life, so seeking the assistance of a reputable child custody and visitation attorney like The Firm For Men can enable you to work toward an ideal parenting arrangement. Call us today at 757-383-9184 or request a family law consultation online today.