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5 things mothers should know about co-parenting

Co-parenting is an arrangement that can benefit children. In order for this to work, you and your ex-husband raise your children as a parenting team even though you aren't in a relationship. When you are in the middle of a co-parenting arrangement or if you are just now thinking about this arrangement, think about these points.

#1: You should be willing to communicate

You and your ex-husband must be willing to communicate. You should keep negotiating with him at the front of your mind. It might help to think of the co-parenting communication in a business-like manner so that you can keep the communication fairly formal. This can help to keep adverse communications to a minimum so that you can work through issues without as much stress.

#2: You must help your child transition

Your child must understand the rules and ways of each home. You can help your child with the transition from one home to another by reminding the child of big differences when your ex-husband drops your child off. You should be patient if your child does something that is allowed at your ex-husband's house that isn't allowed at your home. You and your ex could make this easier if you and he agree on mutual rules and expectations for the children.

#3: Work out the child exchange terms

Always drop your child off on custody exchange days. This helps to make the exchange easier for your child. Prepare your child for occasions when this isn't possible. Older children might cope better than younger children if one parent must pick the child up instead of using the drop off method.

#4: Keep the focus on your child

Don't let anger get to you when you are dealing with your ex-husband about child custody issues. Keep the focus on your child. Your marriage is over, so battling with your ex over the past isn't likely going to get you any positive results. Your child's best interests are the reason you co-parent. Just keep reminding yourself of that when you and your ex-husband have different opinions.

#5: Plan for conflicts

Conflicts are bound to happen at one point or another. Your co-parenting agreement should have terms in it regarding how you and your ex-husband will handle conflicts. Planning for how you will handle the situation now can help you to have less stress when you need to resolve contentious issues.

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