Do’s and don’ts of successful co-parenting for divorced parents

Divorced parents with child

Co-parenting after separation and divorce is rarely easy. It is not a skill that a person can learn in a day, but many divorcees are successful in co-parenting.

If you follow the tips for co-parenting after divorce described below, you can create a stable and safe environment for your children.

Why co-parenting is important

The most obvious factor for successful co-parenting is for both parents to have an active role in their children’s lives. However, divorcees often think that only they know how to be a good parent after divorce, which, sadly, can lead to issues.

That is why it is important to put your differences aside and overcome mental barriers for the sake of the children’s well-being. This is the most basic parenting advice for divorced parents, but there are other solid tips as well.

Tip 1: Do not put your child in the middle

Powerful emotions such as anger or resentment are not easy to overcome, but it is important to separate them from your actions as a co-parent. One of the worst things that ex-partners can do is use children to spill negative emotions on each other.

That is why it is imperative to avoid using children as messengers. Some parents do this and put their children in the middle of a conflict. It does not matter how angry you may be at your partner – use means of communication other than your children.

Tip 2: Do not make your children pick sides

Children love their parents even after they separate. That is why responsible parents begin co-parenting through a divorce to prepare their offspring for a new reality. Irresponsible ones tend to make children pick sides to receive a feeling of being loved.

Do not discourage your children from spending time with the other parent. If you see a child’s request to go for a trip with the other parent as proof that you are a less loved one, you will never be able to make co-parenting work.

That is why you should understand that a child has more than enough love to give to both parents. Making a child choose can emotionally scar them. Also, you shouldn’t try to be the “coolest” parent, even if you really want to.

This is one of the best co-parenting tips for dads. In most cases, dads are prone to develop the behavior of the cool parent, but this is bad due to several reasons:

  • It might be forcing children to pick sides even if unintentional;
  • Showering children with presents, tasty food, and entertainment can spoil them or even lead to the development of manipulative behavioral patterns to test parents’ limits.

Tip 3: Do create a consistent parenting style

A child might find it difficult to jump between parents who use radically different parenting styles. That is why it is better to talk this through with your co-parent. It is best to set a consistent environment in both homes and avoid co-parenting with different rules.

It does not mean that rules for both households should be identical, but some basic things like curfews, homework and similar things have to be common. Moreover, you should try to create consistent schedules for a child who lives in two different homes.

Healthy co-parenting after divorce begins with communication between parents for the sake of the happiness of their children. This includes creating a stable environment if possible.

Tip 4: Do think in future perspective

This is an essential thing to do for separated parents raising children. Children grow up unexpectedly quickly, and it is important to think about their future well-being. That is why parents should communicate with each other prior to making any significant decisions that may affect a child.

Young children are already coping with co-parenting and sensitive events may harm them in many ways. So, deciding to return to dating and/or introduce a child to a new partner should be thought through carefully.

The main takeaway is to think about the future, even if it is overwhelming, and talk to your ex about the potential effects of your decisions on the child. This way, you may develop a way to smooth things out as two heads are better than one.

Tip 5: Do work on resolving disagreements

Co-parenting with an ex is bound to lead to some conflicts or disagreements. The list of potential conflict points is numerous and could range from parenting style to education or medical needs decisions.

That is why co-parents should be respectful to each other. Basic good manners are one of the pillars of effective co-parenting. Let your ex-partner know of any schedule changes or if you need a hand with the child during your turn. It is possible to solve potential conflicts this way.

Finally, settle your differences privately. A child does not have to see co-parents arguing. If you are not able to reach an agreement on something, employing a third party, such as a therapist, might be helpful.

Final thoughts

There are many benefits of co-parenting after divorce for children. They will grow up and develop in a good environment. After all, it’s not about getting everything your way. It’s about two parents, two houses, and one goal – to raise a healthy and happy person!

Natalie Maximets is a certified life transformation coach at She has expertise in mindfulness and sustainability. She is a published author focused on the most progressive solutions in the field of psychology. Natalie helps people go through fundamental life challenges, such as divorce, and build an entirely new life by reframing their personal narrative.