1. Be cooperative
The majority of divorced parents fall into two categories, conflicted and cooperative. While conflicted parents frequently argue with each other, cooperative parents are flexible, communicate and compromise for the safety and happiness of their kids. For divorced families, children do best when both parents are flexible and communicate well to adapt and work together to solve new challenges. A study on divorced families indicated that many co-parents become cooperative due to unexpected crises. For instance, the covid-19 pandemic has forced parents into a suitable arrangement to do what’s best for the children.
2. Be a good parent
After separation, your warmth and patience may run low. However, children need their parent’s emotional support and understanding in such difficult and frightening times. It is crucial to regulate your emotional state and avoid exposing your children to your fears and anxieties. Talking to your children about how they feel and providing accurate, appropriate information can help them put their losses and boredom in perspective. Changes in daily routines and limitations on social interactions can be very challenging for children. This is why as a parent, it is advisable to help your children employ practical coping skills to avoid disappointments and to foster flexibility.
3. Remember to keep both households safe
Often after separation, many people start living in different households. However, for divorced parents, the families are connected to their children’s wellbeing. And since the families are connected, it is essential to avoid practices that could endanger both households. It is also important to understand that safety measures in each family may differ depending on circumstances. To avoid misunderstandings, support your co-parent and help your children understand and accept the different safety measures.
4. Keep things civil
When co-parenting, it’s normal for parental conflicts and disagreements to come up. For simple issues, mediators, parenting coordinators, and family therapists can assist the parents in resolving the conflict. However, there are more complex issues that might require the help of the court system. If you find yourself having these major conflicts regularly, it is advisable to contact an accredited family law expert.
5. Figure out what works best for everyone
Co-parents may have different opinions, but they must work together and make the best decisions for their family. When things are uncertain and frightening, co-parents are advised to cooperate and work together to keep their children safe and happy. During a pandemic, problems may emerge; thus, co-parents should brainstorm solutions to the emerging issues. Communicate with your co-parent to come up with solutions in case of an emergency.
6. Agree on custody and visitation schedule
It’s challenging for some families to adhere to the usual visitation schedule due to the pandemic. Each parent’s residence may be suitable to deal with different challenges of home confinement. Although exchanging children between homes can provide stability and structure within a nurturing environment, co-parents are advised to consider safe practices to avoid exposing their children to covid-19. During the crisis, you can also renegotiate your schedules to protect your kids.
7. Stick to your parenting plan
For co-parenting, the court orders must be followed unless both parents agree to make changes or when it becomes impossible to follow the orders due to the pandemic. If both co-parents agree to adjust the initial parenting plan, they should put it in writing. However, decisions and actions that compromise your child’s safety will be judged later by a child custody evaluator.
During these challenging times, co-parents should employ effective coping skills and flexibility for the children.