Exit Single-Parenting, enter Co-Parenting: Why I Think Co-Parenting is a Good Idea
Divorce or spousal abandonment can be devastating for a family, especially when one partner is left to bear the burden of raising children on their own. Unfortunately, this is the most common turn of events when two partners in a marriage or relationship with kids go their separate ways. While it is often difficult for the partner that’s left with the kids, it is always hardest for the children. Children often have a hard time coping with divorce and parental abandonment in general, and these problems carry on throughout their lives and influence their future relationships as adults.
While most partners who separate from their spouses usually desire to be present in their children’s lives, the conditions are not always conducive for such arrangements to be effective. Either they are outrightly denied the chance or they fear that conflict may arise at any moment, hence they choose to keep away altogether for the sake of the children’s peace.
Thankfully, more and more people are consciously adopting a clear separation between parenting and marriage right from the onset of a relationship. While statements like this one are often frowned upon, I believe that this distinction is extremely important toward achieving balance between the two roles and being able to move forward in case things go south. While divorce is an option in marriage, there is no walking out of being a parent. When two people walk into a marriage knowing that their roles as parents are independent of their roles as partners in a marriage, they are more likely to deal with conflict and separation better and avoid dragging their children into the mess.
Here are 4 reasons why co-parenting is a good idea:
Children develop high self-esteem
When children see their parents working together to amicably resolve conflict, it gives them a sense of stability and relaxation which often lacks in acrimonious relationships and marriages. Young children are especially better off when parents mutually respect each other after divorce, as they think that the divorce was their fault. Co-parenting allows children to be close with both parents and not feel stuck in-between. This gives their self-esteem and sense of security a major boost.
Teenage children are less likely to engage in dangerous lifestyles
Most teenage children from broken marriages end up turning to dangerous lifestyles such as alcohol and substance abuse, irresponsible sexual behavior and crime in an attempt to escape from the extreme stress. When parents remain actively involved in their teenage children’s lives, they are better able to monitor, counsel and mentor them, protecting them from negative peer influence.
Children learn to handle and resolve conflict effectively
As with most every other skill, children learn to handle and resolve conflict through observation. When co-parents are constantly handling and resolving conflicts amicably, their children naturally acquire these skills, that will be absolutely necessary as they grow into socially responsible adults.
Co-parenting reduces conflict
Whether it involves joint custody or sole custody with shared time, co-parenting always reduces conflict between parents, as neither parent lives with the insecurity of losing their child. When a parent knows that they can freely access their child at any time, conflict naturally reduces over the course of time. The relationship between the two parents also improves, as they are able to live smoother lives with more time to focus on fun things.