Reducing conflict between separated parents

Conflict between separated parents

Conflict between separated parents is very common and harmful to children. Parenting Coordination may help.

The separation was painful and fraught with conflict. You and your ex could not get along and every conversation ended in an argument. Mediation was long and often initially unsuccessful. Frustration, anger, resentment and defensiveness dominated your relationship during the legal process.

Thankfully it is over. You have a parenting agreement or order, all is settled and you can move on with your respective lives. You will now have respectful conversations, you will be mindful of each other’s wishes and aim to get along, you will put the needs of the children first, you will let go of all the pain of the past and provide caring and attentive co-parenting to your children. Likely? Possible, but it is not often what happens.

Conflict between separated parents becomes a habit difficult to shake. Yet, you still have to co-parent: you still have to see your ex at changeover times, you still have to attend sporting and school events, you still have to provide consistency in the care of your children, you still have to discuss most aspects of your children’s lives with your ex, even if you cannot stand the sight of them. In summary, you still have to communicate with your ex. And what happens if you cannot resolve your disagreements? Do you want to go back to court and go through the same again?

Thankfully there is help at hand: Parenting Coordination.

What is Parenting Coordination?

Parenting Coordination is a child centered process to support separated parents who struggle with managing the day-to-day challenges of implementing their Parenting Orders or Parenting Plan in a cooperative way. 

A Parenting Coordinator will support both parents with day-to-day disputes so you can avoid the expense of continual litigation and ensure the best possible outcomes for your children by reducing their exposure to parental conflict.

How can a Parenting Coordinator help reduce conflict?

After a separation, there is a fundamental shift in parenting. Individually, each of you has full control over how you parent but you have no help and, most importantly, no feedback. This means that communication becomes paramount in co-parenting. But how does your communication need to change?

It is often the small, day-to-day issues that cause the greatest amount of conflict between separated parents. Things like altering agreed upon drop-off times, change-over locations or changing timesharing schedules. These issues are a source of aggravation today, but would be hardly remembered ten years from now, unless they persist.

A Parenting Coordinator starts by assisting you in reaching agreements on your initial co-parenting challenges. However, the goal is to coach, educate and teach you how to communicate cooperatively, make decisions together and reduce daily conflict over ordinary decisions about your children. The PC supports the family to so that you learn to handle friction in a positive way and, eventually, without external support.

Benefits of Parenting Coordination

Parenting Coordination benefits children by:

  • Reducing stress as parental conflict decreases.
  • Supporting the child’s optimal development by enhancing the stability and consistency in how they are parented.
  • Increasing the likelihood of having both parents involved in their lives.
  • Promoting a more relaxed atmosphere, easing of transitions and adaptation to having two homes.
  • Removing the children from a position of loyalty bind.

Parenting Coordination benefits separated parents by:

  • Learning about what constitutes conflict and how it impacts on children’s’ development.
  • Teaching you how to regulate your emotions (not suppress, regulate!) and how to become skilled at difficult conversations, maintaining the focus on your children.
  • Reducing their stress levels through increasing your sense of control over how you co-parent.
  • Assisting in maintaining compliance with the Parenting Orders or Parenting Plans and thus reducing the likelihood of costly further legal proceedings.

Co-parenting is not easy and in instances where conflict dominates the separation, it may be life-changing for the children if you reach out for support. It is worth a try.

If you want to replace conflict with cooperation, an Amily Parenting Coordinator can help.

There is also more information at Parenting Coordination Australia.
Book your free discovery session today by selecting an appointment here, or call us now on 0411 173 147.
Your children will thank you!

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