Go into New Year focused on Positive Co-Parenting and in the Best Interest of Your Children
While the history of New Year’s resolutions dates back to the Babylonians, Julius Ceasar is credited with establishing January 1 as the beginning of the new year. In fact, January was named for Janus, a two-faced god that symbolically looked back into the previous year, while looking ahead into the future. And so, the first day of the new year has become a time to reflect on past mistakes and resolve to do and be better in the future.
Most common New Year’s resolutions focus on improving health, financial situation, and everyday life, but for parents there is nothing more important in daily life then providing the absolute best for your children.
Being a co-parent can present unique challenges that can have big impact on children’s lives. When parents decide to part ways, changes to the children’s lives are inevitable.
A well-designed co-parenting agreement, indicates that no matter the irreconcilable differences the partners have, they still have one thing in common – they want the best for their children.
As kids grow, the complexity of their emotional, spiritual, physical and financial needs change. With additional challenges such as work schedule considerations, career responsibilities, and individual issues of each of the co-parents may influence a decline in co-parenting routines, and/or communication, or lend to constraints due to time limitations and the overall pace of life as a co-parent.
As 2022 draws to a close, consider your co-parenting habits. Is there room for improved communication and consistency? Has there been unnecessary conflict that could be avoided? Could you be a better listener? Have you always acted in the best interest of your children? How are you modeling communication with their other important adult for your children?
Here are some co-parenting resolutions to shape a positive new year:
Resolution #1: Communicate. Focus on the best interest of your children and not on what irritates you about your co-parent. Use manners and address each other with respect at all times. Don’t make your children the messengers between households.
Resolution #2 Work together to schedule time off and holidays. Plan ahead and compromise. Consider the needs of the children, the other parent and the family as a whole.
Resolution #3 Have a written plan in place. With the help of a family law attorney or a mediator, you can work together to create a parenting plan that works for all of you. Having a written plan ensure everyone understands their role, and the agreed-upon terms that will shape a positive experience for all.
Resolution #4 Be proactive. Discuss in advance if possible with your co-parent about situations that may arise, so you can have a plan in place in case they do.
Resolution #5 Be flexible. Be flexible with your co-parenting time, and willing to adjust and comprise when unexpected situations arise. Research has shown that Children thrive more when parents work together and make joint parenting decisions.
Resolution #6 Be supportive of each other as parents. Don’t leave the kids stuck in the middle because you and your co-parent are not getting along. Regardless of your differences in parenting style or approach, what matters most is that you are assured that your child feels safe, secure and loved.
Resolution #7 Avoid the blame game. It’s easy for co-parents that are “exes” to focus on the other’s shortcomings and point the finger when things go wrong. Remember that your child has nothing to do with your differences and blaming never resolves problems.
The resolution to become a better co-parent is a challenging endeavor and a very worthy goal for the new year. However, being a parent who will always seek and prioritize the best interest of their child above all else, becoming a better co-parent will be a worthwhile process that will give you the opportunity to let your child feel more of your parental love for them.
We hope these tips will be helpful as you go into the New Year with intentions to improve your co-parenting relationship. If you’re struggling to make progress in your co-parenting relationship, please reach out to McMurdie Law and Mediation at (480) 777-5500. We can work with you to create amicable outcomes and a happier environment for your children.
May you have a happy and fulfilling new year to come.