Co-Parenting After Divorce Is Best For Children
Actress Gwyneth Paltrow and her former spouse, Coldplay front man Chris Martin, lit up social media outlets recently when they shared a family photo of themselves with their children. The former celebrity couple made headlines in 2014 when they announced they were “consciously uncoupling” after 10 years of marriage but would concentrate on co-parenting their two young children, ages 13 and 11.
Co-parenting is a term that has begun to weave its way into the fabric of society, and its emphasis on teamwork in the post-divorce raising of children is the big reason why. In this article, we explain some effective ways for parents to co-parent their children after divorce.
What Is Co-Parenting?
Simply put, co-parenting describes a joint parenting partnership between parents who are no longer romantically involved but share in the responsibility of raising their child. It emphasizes open communication, cooperation and flexibility among the parents. Co-parenting is not limited to divorced parents - but to any parents of minor children. In co-parenting situations, parents come to agreement on how their children will be raised, how decisions affecting their education, religion, health, and activities will be resolved. Basically, it is an agreed-upon roadmap and understanding that their children will be parented by both parents - and not just one parent.
Co-Parenting Focuses On The Children's Best Interest – Not On Each Parent!
How Does Post-Divorce Co-Therapy Lead To Better Co-Parenting?
Eric & Erica often work with parents after divorce to create an environment for effective communication, mutual goals for their children and how to deal with step-parents and new living arrangements. Despite a couple being divorced - and the emotional turmoil that they and their family likely experienced - effective co-parenting of children can be established and maintained when both parents (and sometimes step-parents) are able to safely explore their emotions in therapy with Eric and Erica. We work with divorced parents to establish a model of respectful communication between themselves so that the inevitable myriad of unforeseen situations and circumstances can be dealt with while always maintaining a focus on the best interests of the children.
We Help Divorced Parents Maintain An Environment For Mutual Respect!
Do Children Really Benefit From Co-Parenting?
In addition to helping parents find common ground rules upon which to communicate after divorce about the needs of their children, the establishment of a respectful relationship among the parents post-divorce is crucial to the mental health of their children.
When children are exposed to a verbally hostile relationship between parents, the results are often tragic and long-lasting. Recent studies confirm that children whose parents were not on speaking terms are at a higher risk of experiencing poorer health throughout their lives. Additionally, they are at risk of:
- Developing Destructive Behaviors;
- Isolating Themselves From Their Family And Friends; and
- Having Thoughts Of Suicide Or Of Committing Violence.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, other research points to the success of post-divorce co-parenting. Among the findings, children who have enjoyed the nurturing environment of a parental relationship grounded in respect were shown to:
- Enjoy More Academic Success;
- Have A Better Sense Of Self-Esteem;
- Experience Far Less Instances Of Behavioral Problems; and
- Exhibit Fewer Occurrences Of Stress And Anxiety.