In our last blog post, we have shared how divorced parents can work together to make co-parenting work for their children. We know it is hard and oftentimes a seemingly impossible task. Nonetheless, we want to encourage you to do it well because it is an extremely effective way to minimise the children’s suffering. There are also various advantages that co-parenting bring. We will explore some of these advantages in this article to help you understand the benefits of your sacrifice.
Children continue to enjoy security and reduce stress of separation
Children often suffer from insecurity when their parents divorced. They imagine that it is their fault that causes the parents to be separated. If one parent moves away and the children are left alone with the other parent, it is easy for them to feel that the parent who moved away no longer loves and cares for them. Oftentimes, this misguided concept leaves the deepest damage to the children. With co-parenting, both parents are likely forced to stay near each other in order for their children to commute easily between the two houses. Children have a sense of security when they know that both their parents are trying their best to work together for their wellbeing. Their stress levels will also reduce, helping the children to adapt better to the living arrangement and has lesser disruptions to their social life and education. Their behaviours and attitude at home will also tend to be mild and similar to those before the divorce.
Children will have consistency
As mentioned in the previous post, parents who work together in co-parentings should developed a common set of rules and structure in both homes so that children continue to have consistency regardless which home they are living in. Children normally understand and will respond well to any structural change so be sure to speak with them about the changes before implementing them. When children have consistency and a sense of predictability, they feel safe and know that both parents are working together with the same wavelength even though they are staying apart. The common rules actually help children to trust that both parents have their wellbeing as the topmost priority, hence helping them to adapt better.
Children learn respectful conflict resolution skills
Diplomacy is impossible to explain to children, but you can show them how. When two separated parents work brilliantly together to resolve conflicts peacefully and respectfully during periods of difficult situations, children are taught indirectly to resolve conflicts the right way. They will see that negotiation and peaceful resolutions are more productive than an argument. Children developed resilience as well when they watched their parents resolve conflicts through discussions, no matter how difficult it is.
Children will have both their father and mother as role models
Children learn through mimicking. Young children mimic their parent’s behaviour, be it good or bad. It is important for children to observe both parents and learn from them. When you co-parent, your children get to see both their dad and mum regularly and are able to observe what you do on a regular basis. If you are showing your children that you can work through problems persistently and are committed to follow through constructively, they will learn those skills too.
Parents continue to be parents
The top four benefits are for your children, but co-parenting also benefits you as a parent. When you co-parent, you get to see your children regularly. By adhering to a pre-agreed guideline on your children’s wellbeing, you can continue to be an active parent in the lives of your children. Moreover, with co-parenting, you do not have to do all the work alone as a single parent all of a sudden. Your ex-spouse will still be doing his or her part in parenting your children. Therefore, working together as co-parents are definitely easier to handle than to do it all by yourself, especially when you have the additional burden of handling your own emotions and feelings after the divorce.
Life as a single parent is not easy and there will be times when you need a break from your children so that you can go out with your friends, meet new people and even date. When you co-parent with your ex-spouse, you will have a fixed schedule most of the time. You will be able to plan your activities when the children are away at your ex-spouse and indulge yourself once in a while with a good chill out time with your friends.
There are possibly more benefits to co-parenting than the five that we have listed here. However, we feel that these are the most important factors you need to consider when you are debating whether or not you want to co-parent. It is definitely not an easy job to face your ex-spouse regularly when you co-parent, but it does help you and your ex-spouse to put aside your differences and work together for the benefits of your children.