You want to be the best father you can, whether you are married to your child’s mother or not. But co-parenting can be exhausting, frustrating and overwhelming at times.
Co-parenting fathers often face unique challenges. In many cases, they are the non-custodial parent and have to overcome problems that accompany that. They may feel disconnected from their child if they don’t see them as often as they’d like. Or they may feel pressured about the time deficit.
These negative emotions can make co-parenting even harder. Regardless, it’s important to stay calm and be the best father you can. Here are five co-parenting tips for fathers that may help with this:
- Communication is key. Marriages often fall apart due to poor communication. It’s critical that you kick any bad old habits and have open, effective communication about your child. You might try email, texting or face-to-face to see what works best.
- Consistency is critical. Your child is adapting to a life-changing event. To make it easier for them, you should be consistent with your schedule and expectations surrounding pickups and drop-offs. If there are times you need to change the schedule, discuss it with your ex and tell your child as soon as possible.
- Have hard conversations in private. You don’t want your child to be caught up in any conflict. If there’s a chance that your conversation could lead to a disagreement, you should have it without your child there. You want to be seen as a unified force in front of your child.
- Use co-parenting tools. You may need extra help in maintain your co-parenting schedule. You and your ex could use online calendars to share information about your child’s upcoming events. There are also co-parenting apps that allow you to exchange information about your child’s health, education and more.
- Keep a strong support system. Undoubtedly, there are times that you will feel angry, frustrated or sad. It can help to have friends and family members to confide in during this time. You might even seek assistance from a co-parenting support group or therapist.
Co-parenting can be tough – there’s no arguing that. But when you’re thoughtful and strategic about it, it can be a positive experience for you and your child.