Understanding effective co-parenting

Even if Pennsylvania parents are not together, they are usually both committed to raising healthy, emotionally secure children. When both parents are involved in raising their child together the process is called co-parenting.

Defining co-parenting

Many people assume the meaning of co-parenting is divorced parents sharing parenting responsibilities equally. However, co-parenting does not actually mean equal responsibility between the parents. If both parents are raising a child together, when they are not actually involved with each other, the term used is co-parenting.

What does effective co-parenting involve?

Effective co-parenting means that parents can work together, despite their differences which might have kept them from continuing their own relationship, to nurture their child. The co-parenting relationship can be very complex and delicate, balancing a parent’s love and concern for their child’s wellbeing with their own feelings, sometimes of animosity, for that child’s other parent. To be effective, co-parenting involves a variety of things, including:

  • An understanding that co-parenting is a process
  • The capacity to be flexible as the child’s needs and the parent’s priorities change over time
  • A willingness to collaborate with the child’s other parent
  • An openness to cooperate to raise the child with both parents present

How does effective co-parenting help the child?

In most cases, having both parents present and involved in the child’s life is considered in the child’s best interests. When parents can put their differences aside and focus on raising their child together, even if one parent has more parenting time and responsibility than the other, children learn that they can count on both parents. They feel supported and loved, which can help them become more confident as they grow.

Understanding that the co-parenting journey is one that changes as the family changes and being open to these changes will help parents achieve an effective co-parenting relationship. This will, in the end, benefit everyone in the family.