When parents no longer live under the same roof, it is called co-parenting. Co-parenting provides a model for working together, while no longer living together. This mean letting go of previous patterns of relating and finding new ones that prioritize the children’s well-being.
One helpful new pattern is for ex-partners to establish an effective “business” or “working” relationship.
Such a relationship focuses on specific goals and limits the emotional involvement of the two parties.
The divorce may have been adversarial, but co-parenting doesn’t have to be. The separated parties are no longer responsible for one another’s emotions.
“Removing emotions from communication does not mean denying them. Find another time or place to express them safely where they will be less likely to negatively influence the co-parent relationship and your child.”
6 Hallmarks of a Productive Business Relationship
- Dedication to a common goal – raising emotionally and physically healthy children.
- Commitment to a win-win – working for long-term benefit, not short-term advantage.
- Negotiation when circumstances change – so that both parents win and the children never lose.
- Staying on task / on topic – in a business relationship, only certain topics are up for discussion. Topics such as your ex’s dating life are out of bounds.
- Observing common courtesies – for example: using pleasant voice, calling ahead, sharing valuable information.
- Communicating with facts, not feelings – emotions intefere with problem solving.
The more of the above 6 characteristics your co-parenting relationship exhibits, the more effective it will be.
Summarized from TFEC’s co-parenting course materials.
Want to learn more about Co-Parenting and how to set your relationship on a business-like footing? Why not ask us about our Co-Parenting Course?