Written by Ayanna Muhammad, Editor-in-chief
Coparenting made simple are individuals who share the responsibility and duties of raising and cultivating a child, but the task isn’t always an easy one. Sometimes there is much conflict, a lot of ego, and plenty of emotions involved. Whether this is something that you are new to, or you have some experience, it is always an ever changing process that inevitably comes with growing pains, and will always require a certain level of flexibility and full commitment, but we have the capability to make it less complex by implementing a few basic tools that serves beneficial to all parties involved.
Communicate-Communication is key in any aspect of any relationship, whether business or personal. Last time we checked, nobody can accurate read the mind of another person, so instead of setting yourself up for an avoidable disappointment, speak straight words to each other about expectations, questions, comments, or concerns. Not only is communicating your thoughts as it pertains to your children important, but following that up by confirming that there is understanding from that communication. Communication without the lack of comprehension afterwards is having your words fall on deaf ears, so do your part in making that one less thing you have to be concerned about.
Separate personal feelings from your interactions– For whatever reason your marriage or partnership didn’t work out, its imperative that you don’t allow those emotions to spill over into your behavior as a coparent, because in the end the child is the one who is most affected by your actions. We are stating the obvious here, but never use your children as pawns in your “get back” games with your ex. Your emotions at the time might be temporary, but the mental trauma you can unconsciously cause your children can be long lasting, so act out of logic, and not emotion. Set your pride aside and keep the mental health and happiness of your children protected, and at the forefront of your mind.
Compromise– Learn how to pick your battles. Yes this can be a difficult thing to do, but it comes with the territory. Everything doesn’t have to be an argument, so active listening and finding a middle ground when it comes to certain decisions regarding your children is crucial. Will this always be easy? Absolutely not. Will you have to be more flexible than you planned at times? Sometimes yes. But again, proper coparenting is a team sport, so its easier to function when everyone can be on the same page.
Understanding the bigger picture– It’s vital that we understand that in the grand scheme of it all, proper and healthy coparenting is for the greater benefit of the child or children involved. It’s not necessary to feed into the stigma that coparenting has to be ugly. Many have witnessed our own parents chaos, but this is yet another way, if done properly, that we can break the curse of normalizing childhood trauma for our children, and show them that Mom and Dad can work as a unit for the betterment of the children.
The journey may be long and may come with a few hiccups along the way, but the end result of what you are trying to achieve is worth all the work you will put into it. Be better and show better because you have important people watching you every step of the way.