Co-parenting can feel like a scary transition into a whole new world, but while it might be new to you there are plenty of parents who’ve been there before, which means we have a good idea of what works and what doesn’t.
If you’re staring down years co-parenting with a former partner, here are five ways to minimize the stress you, your kids, and your co-parent feel as you adjust to your new reality.
Use Your Calendar As Much As Possible
A well-maintained calendar can help co-parents keep everything from custody schedules to vacations to soccer practice organized so no one misses a game or shows up for pick-up on the wrong weekend. A digital calendar is a great tool for parents who no longer live together, and the Shared Calendar in the TalkingParents app is the best option because it shows which parent created and edited specific one-off and recurring events, leaving a paper trail that can end future conflicts before they begin.
Create Two Homes (Not Just Two Houses)
Whether it's weekends, summers, or another schedule, co-parenting means kids moving around between houses. You don’t want them to feel as though they aren’t at home half the time, so it’s important to give them their own space in their new place. A fresh coat of paint, some furniture they’ve picked out, and ample space for them to store their things can all help kids feel like their new space is just that — theirs.
The secret to effective co-parenting? Communication, communication, communication. Being in regular contact with your co-parent sets a good example for your kids and ensures that you’re both up to date on what’s happening in their lives. The TalkingParents app is a pro communication facilitator, with secure messaging and accountable audio and video calling that, because it creates a court-admissible record of your interactions, tends to prod co-parents to be on their best behavior, which is good for everyone.
Disagree Privately & Respectfully
Kids can sense when there’s tension between their parents, so it’s vital to take care of disagreements quickly and quietly. Again, TalkingParents is a great forum for this, even for those who’d rather not share their contact info with their co-parent. You can use TalkingParents without ever sharing your phone number or email address with each other. The app creates a safe space to hash things out with your co-parent privately while keeping all communications documented, and allowing you to find a resolution to whatever conflict you have with them.
Don’t Let Money Become An Obstacle
No one likes talking about money, least of all with their former partner. But whether it’s field trip fees or child support payments, finances are a big part of co-parenting. TalkingParents makes it easy to make and track payments even if you need to connect to multiple bank accounts. And by ensuring there’s a record that both co-parents can see, you can hopefully avert money-related conflicts and focus on being the best parent you can be.
TalkingParents offers Free, Standard, and Premium Plans to fit the needs of any family. To get started, both co-parents must sign up for accounts and match them through the app. Click here for more information.