Cooperative Parenting After Divorce

by Marla Chalnick

Parenting after separation and divorce can be challenging. Conflicts, hostilities and differing points of view regarding how your children should be raised can leave you frustrated and angry. Disagreements can crop up about scheduling, extra-curricular activities, medical care, schoolwork and almost anything else. While you two may no longer be partners in marriage, you are still partners in raising your children.

Your children deserve the love and support of both their parents and Co-Parenting Counseling can help you navigate the creation of a new two household family.  I have worked with many families that find a greater level of compromise and are able to create healthy environments for their children in both their parent’s homes.

Co-parenting is a relatively new term to describe roles that have been around as long as couples have separated and divorced. After separation you continue to co-parent your children, providing for homes and meeting their everyday needs. You will always be linked to the person who helped you create your most precious asset. Sometimes bitterness, hostilities and different points of view can make the task of co-parenting difficult and cause significant harm to your children. You are the two people your children love the most and they are hurt every time there’s a conflict between you. And even more important, they feel responsible for the negativity. As a result your children will suffer and their relationship with you will suffer.

While you may not feel hopeful about improving the communication and cooperation with the other parent, it is important that you are willing to take positive steps to improve the quality of your co-parenting. Co-parenting counseling is not marital therapy. It is not mediation. It is not arbitration. It is not legal representation. Co-parenting counseling is an opportunity for parents to look at their communication styles, their beliefs about what’s best for their children and their ability to cooperate in the work of raising their children.

The focus of co-parenting coaching is to create benefits to your children because you are able to interact in more positive constructive ways. Parents are supported, not judged, to try new ways of interacting with each other and with their children. It will keep your children from feeling torn because they are in the middle. If you find that your feelings are directing your interactions, that co-parenting has become a ‘turf’ war and that you are keeping score, then co-parenting counseling is for you.

Co-parenting counseling is  a service designed to increase your knowledge and understanding of your child custody situation and to define specific strategies and techniques for improving your resourcefulness, confidence and readiness to move forward.

2 thoughts on “Cooperative Parenting After Divorce

  1. Thanks, Marla, for this. It’s encouraging to see the stigma around divorce dissolving. I remember how “shameful” divorce used to be; it’s amazing that so much has changed. And thank goodness!


    1. I hope this post will educate parents. It is totally possible to work together for the benefit of your children after divorce. They may need a little help to set them on the right path


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