Co-parenting can be a scary transition into a whole new world, but while it may be new to you, there are plenty of parents who have been there before, meaning we have a good idea of what works and what doesn’t.
If you’ve been staring at co-parenting with a former partner for years, here are five ways to minimize the stress you, your kids, and your co-parent feel as you adjust to your new reality.
Use your calendar as much as possible
A well-maintained calendar can help co-parents keep track of everything from child custody schedules to vacations to soccer practice so no one misses a game or picks up on the wrong weekend. A digital calendar is a great tool for parents who are no longer living together, and the Shared Calendar in the TalkingParents app is the best option because it shows which parent created and edited specific one-time and recurring events, leaving a paper trail that future can end conflicts before they start.
Create two houses (not just two houses)
Whether it’s weekends, summers, or any other schedule, co-parenting means kids move between homes. You don’t want them to feel like they’re not home half the time, so it’s important to give them their own space in their new place. A fresh coat of paint, some furniture they’ve picked, and plenty of room to store their belongings can all make kids feel like their new space is just theirs.
The secret to effective co-parenting? Communication, communication, communication. Regular contact with your co-parent sets a good example for your children and ensures that both of you are aware of what is happening in their lives. The TalkingParents app is a professional communication facilitator, with secure messaging and responsible audio and video calls that, because it creates a legally admissible record of your interactions, encourages co-parents to behave their best, which is good for everyone.
Privately and respectfully disagree
Children can sense when there is tension between their parents, so it is vital to resolve disagreements quickly and quietly. Again, TalkingParents is a great forum for this, even for those who prefer not to share their contact information with their co-parent. You can use TalkingParents without ever sharing your phone number or email address with each other. The app creates a safe space to sort things out privately with your co-parent, while keeping all communications documented and allowing you to resolve any conflict you may have with them.
Don’t let money become an obstacle
Nobody likes to talk about money, especially not with their former partner. But whether it’s travel expenses or child support, finances are a big part of co-parenting. TalkingParents makes it easy to make and track payments, even if you need to connect to multiple bank accounts. And by making sure there is a record for both co-parents to see, you can hopefully avoid money-related conflicts and focus on being the best parent you can be.
TalkingParents offers free, standard and premium plans to meet the needs of every family. To get started, both co-parents need to sign up for accounts and match them through the app. Click here for more information.