Children and divorce in California: How to successfully co-parent
Children may benefit from having both parents in their lives, which is why it behooves separated or divorced parents to consider co-parenting.
With few exceptions, children in Orange County, and throughout California, benefit from having both of their parents in their lives. By the same token, parents' responsibilities towards their children do not go away simply because they have decided to divorce. Consequently, many people who have divorced or otherwise split from their child's other parent choose to co-parent. While this is not always an easy task, there are things that people can do to successfully co-parent their children.
Keep the rules consistent
Having two different households, it is common for there to be two different sets of rules. Psychology Today points out, however, that children need routine and structure in their lives. Therefore, it is suggested that parents agree on the rules for their kids and enforce them in both of their households. Additionally, parents should try to stick to the same schedules. For example, children might be expected to finish their homework right after school and then do their chores before dinner.
Avoid fighting over the kids
When going through a divorce, or after couples have split, the Huffington Post advises parents to remember that children are people, not property. Thus, they should avoid fighting over who gets them when. Instead, parents should try to be fair with each other, and most importantly to their children, when they are determining their custody and visitation arrangements.
Try to keep the transitions peaceful
Dropping off and picking up children for visits is often difficult for parents, especially at first. Although nothing may have been said, kids often sense tension and hostility between their parents. Therefore, it is advisable that people do their best to make the transitions as smooth and peaceful as possible for their children. If they cannot quell their anxieties or have cordial interactions, Parents magazine recommends that people find a neutral location for pick-ups and drop offs.
Be supportive when welcoming kids home
Children often feel that they have to choose a side when their parents get divorced. As a result, they may feel like they have betrayed one parent by visiting with the other. When children return home from a visit with their other parent, Parents magazine suggests that people be supportive and interested. This may help them to encourage their kids to build positive parent-child relationships with both of their parents.
In order to successfully co-parent, it is important for both parents to be on the same page. Thus, they should discuss their schedules and upcoming events so that they both know what is going on in their child's life. Additionally, Psychology Today recommends that parents update each other about their personal lives. This may help avoid situations in which children become go-betweens or serve as parents' primary sources of information.
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