Raising a child with someone who is no longer your partner, or perhaps never was, can be challenging. You may have different views on bringing up your child, and you may have an intense dislike for one another. However, you still need to work together if you want your child to grow up to be a well-rounded individual.
Growing up with separated parents can make life harder for a child, especially if the majority of their peer group lives with two parents. Yet, despite this, it is still possible to raise a great kid as a single parent, as many parents have shown.
Co-parenting requires you to put your child’s interests above your differences
Parental conflict can have severe adverse effects on children. Putting your child first every time you make a decision or go to say something to the other parent is not always easy, but it can help create a far better co-parenting relationship. Here are two common sayings you might find relevant:
- If you don’t have anything nice to say, say nothing: Parents have given this piece of advice to children for generations. Yet it is also helpful for parents themselves. It is easy to find fault with the other parent. Yet, doing so will not improve your co-parenting relationship, and it could hurt your child if they hear you criticizing their mom or dad.
- Variety is the spice of life: The other parent may have a very different parenting style to you and a different view of the world. Yet, that is how life is — not everyone has the same beliefs; not everyone does things in the same way. If you can demonstrate to your child the art of compromise and the importance of accepting that other people see things differently, it sets them in good stead for the future.
A solid child custody agreement will be the foundation for your co-parenting relationship. Your child needs both parents in their life, and it is up to you as parents to make that happen.