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How parents can co-parent more successfully and less stressfully

Co-parenting can be a stressful process. Even if both parents have their child’s best interests at heart and generally get along with their former romantic partner, the very act of trying to coordinate two separate households in ways that benefit everyone can be frustrating and somewhat exhausting. Thankfully, there are a few things that you can do to make your co-parenting relationship less stressful and more effective generally, no matter how your child custody arrangements are structured.

First, it can be helpful to think of your co-parenting relationship as a business partnership. The goal of the business is to ensure that your child’s best interests are being consistently met. Your relationship with your co-parent is like that of two professionals who want their business to succeed. If you maintain this kind of professionalism and focused intention, you will be more likely to keep in-fighting to a minimum, to problem solve more efficiently and to seek out objective help from counselors, educators and attorneys when your “business” is in need of assistance.

Second, understand that communication is key. Your communication style, preferred modes of communication and regularity of contact will help to set the tone of your co-parenting relationship. If you and your co-parent most effectively communicate via the Internet, then stick primarily to communicating via email and perhaps a co-parenting website outfitted with family calendars and other helpful tools. If you tend to email impulsively and with a negative tone, maybe phone communication will be healthier for your co-parenting relationship.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Divorce Confidential: Tips for Successful and Healthy Co-Parenting,” Caroline Choi, May 9, 2014

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