3 Tips for Co-Parenting with Your Ex

Author: Danielle Forshee, Psy.D, LCSW

Divorce alone does not have a negative impact on children. The conflict and hostility that arises between parents is what causes the long-term negative psychological effects. The goal in co-parenting counseling is to achieve better communication and learn how to problem-solve for your child’s best interests, even though you and your ex are no longer together.

Co-Parenting Tips

  1. Prepare yourself for your child’s reactions based on your child’s developmental stage. Parents often mistakenly blame the other parent or punish the child for behaviors that are expected from a child experiencing a divorce.
  2. Ensure your child is spending a consistent (and as close to equivalent) amount of time with each parent. Results of a 25-year-long study (Wallerstein & Lewis, 2004) found that adult children of divorce consistently recalled the loss of their parents’ availability as the most distressing aspect of the divorce.
  3. The more you can problem-solve in front of your child the better adjusted your child will be. The first lesson a child has in effective communication and conflict-resolution is through watching and listening to their parents. Your influence is very powerful.

The above tips are only an introduction to the benefits of what co-parenting counseling sessions can provide for you, in the best interest of your child. If you are considering a divorce or have already begun the process, co-parenting counseling is always suggested to help prevent any potential negative future impact.