4 tips on how to be an effective co-parent

People can be more successful at co-parenting by implementing certain tips into their parenting relationship.

People in Federal Way who are getting divorced, or who are splitting from the other parent should remember that their children need that other parent in their lives. As their children grow into adulthood, they will want both of their parents at their birthday celebrations, graduations, weddings and the birth of their own children. While it may be difficult for parents to deal with someone who they once had a romantic relationship with, there are ways they can develop into an effective co-parent.

1. Show respect and support

It is easy for people to hold grudges, especially when a marriage did not end well, and carry this over into how they treat the other parent. One way to avoid this, according to Helpguide.org, is for people to apologize when they have made an error that affects the other parent. If they are late dropping off the children, they should take responsibility. Respecting the other parent's time with the children is also important. Sometimes, parents will call their children while they are with the other parent to check up on them or to interrupt an activity with the other parent. Engaging in such behavior will only anger the ex and hurt the co-parenting relationship.

2. Keep open communication lines concerning children

Psychology Today points out that open communication is important to successful co-parenting. If parents are unable to have a calm and open conversation in person, there are online sites they can use as well as other electronic methods such as letters, email or texts.

This communication should only concern the children, however. There is no purpose in rehashing what went wrong in the romantic relationship, or getting upset over an ex's current decisions or romantic interests. Instead, people should limit their discussion to things such as schedule changes, problems the kids may be struggling with, the results of a doctor's visit or appointments the kids have.

3. Keep rules at both homes consistent

Children thrive better when there is consistency between both parents' homes. Parents should agree on what time children will go to bed, that homework will be completed before the children can watch a movie or play a game, the amount of time children spend on a computer and what the curfew is for older kids. If one parent has ruled that a child is grounded for misbehavior, then the punishment should be respected by the other parent and vice versa.

4. Pick battles carefully

All parents have different ideas regarding the raising of their children. One parent may not think it's a big deal if the kids stay up late or one parent may feel that electronic devices should be put away during mealtime. When parents are no longer living together, these disagreements can quickly blow up into major battles. Therefore, it is important for parents to pick and choose what is really important to pursue, such as a behavior that puts the child at risk of injury or a total disregard of the parenting agreement.

When parents in Washington have questions regarding their children, they may find it beneficial to meet with an experienced attorney.