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Co-parenting 101

Co-parenting  101 for Single Fathers

The thought of co-parenting can feel overwhelming at times.  Having an ongoing and working relationship with someone you are not in a committed marital or significant other relationship with can bring about some interesting challenges.  If I could though, I’d ask you to reconsider the idea of being in a committed relationship with this person, the parent of your child.  When you have children together, you can remain in a committed relationship, a relationship committed to overall well being of your children.  Here are a few basic tips to help you achieve success on the path to co-parenting in the best interests of your child:

  1. Remember that the relationship you have with your child’s parent is just that, a relationship based on having a child together, and not focused on a relationship between the two of you other then to co-parent.  Some find approaching the relationship like a business partnership to be helpful, where you are both focused on creating a great product (your child).
  2. Keep communication child centered, and not self-focused.  If it’s not about your child, who is it about?
  3. Be respectful in your communication.  Know that you will not agree on everything, and that’s okay, you don’t need to, but in your disagreements, honor the other person’s perspective and remain respectful as you work toward a harmonious outcome based on your child’s needs.
  4. Know that you will make mistakes, you’re human, we all do.  The key is to not let any co-parenting mishaps undermine the work you’ve done to create a good co-parenting foundation.  You can always start fresh by focusing on the present moment.

When you put the health and well being of your child at the forefront of co-parenting, you are helping to create a successful co-parenting relationship and as a result a happy healthy child.

By Don Page
Mental Health Therapist
DFP Counseling Services

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