Understanding Co-Parenting Counselling and Its Benefits to Your Co-Parenting Relationship

Understanding Co-Parenting Counselling and Its Benefits to Your Co-Parenting Relationship

Parenting is always a difficult task, and even more so in co-parenting. Sharing and discussing your loved one’s well-being with a previous partner can quickly turn into heated arguments. This is where co-parenting counselling can make a lot of difference since it is a structured clinical intervention with empirically based guidelines.

Co-parenting counselling helps families to deal with their separation or divorce. The first objectives of mediation are to reduce conflict develop better communication skills for the couple and develop a parenting schedule that is in the best interest of the child.

In this post, let’s find out what co-parenting counselling is and how this process can be helpful in your and your children’s lives.

Understanding Co-Parenting

Co-parenting is a situation where the individuals have separated, divorced or never been married but they both take care of their child or children. Even though your love life has ended, as parents of the children you once shared, your responsibility does not. Such an arrangement may not be easy, especially as one has to communicate with their former partner as often as with any other partner throughout treatment, which could open old wounds and bring about heartache. It has also been stated that co-parenting counselling can be a source of significant help in such circumstances.

It is important to note that co-parenting counselling is different from marriage counselling and is not meant to rehash past disagreements between the parents. It is more about discovering how you and your spouse can properly parent your children even if you two are no longer together.

Three Types of Co-Parenting

1. Cooperative and Collaborative Co-Parenting

This is the ideal style of co-parenting but can be the most challenging to achieve. Positive cooperative and co-constructive co-parenting is characterised by low parenting conflict, mutual esteem, frequent and effective communication, and a commitment to collective parenting decisions. The advantage of this approach is that children can acquire skills in problem-solving, respect and communication skills in the course of the game.

This style, however, is not easy to sustain, and it has three major drawbacks. Both parents can remain angry, resentful, saddened or confused throughout the divorce or separation process, which adds to conflict between them and prevents them from working as a team.

This is where co-parenting counselling comes in handy as it enables the parent to overcome such challenges emotionally in the interest of their children.

2. High-Conflict Co-Parenting

High-conflict co-parenting is the most challenging type of co-parenting as the parents demonstrate lots of hostility and engage in numerous conflicts. In some cases, communication may not be very direct, and there might be a third person like a lawyer or a family member. In the worst of the worst kind of situations, children can be in between as messengers which is very terrible and toxic for them.

To cope with highly problematic relationships with the other parent, the parents must turn to a co-parenting counsellor, minimise direct communication with this person, and always keep the child’s best interests in mind.

3. Parallel Co-Parenting

Parallel co-parenting is suitable for couples who may not be on speaking terms but can manage to spend time together to raise their child. The interaction between them is strictly formal and not emotional, as they are not close friends or relatives. Parents communicate formally mainly to work out who will do what and any major decisions regarding the welfare of the child. The nature of these interactions is often professional, with polite avoidance of friendly conversations.

This kind of style is preferable for the parents, they can realize their own needs and their own lives other than a child’s needs.

What Is Co-Parenting Counseling?

Co-parenting is a concept that means that divorced or separated parents share the responsibility of raising children. Some parents can transition to this new phase of parenting without difficulty while others require intervention for conflict or lack of communication or lack of communication altogether. Thus, co-parenting counselling involves providing parents with the necessary tools and skills to effectively communicate with one another, address conflict issues, and establish a plan for the future, which is especially helpful in blended families.

How Co-Parenting Counseling Can Improve Your Co-Parenting Relationship

Finding Common Ground

Resentment and conflict are common in co-parenting after a divorce. Such feelings can interfere with the work process and cause conflicts with your ex-spouse. Specifically, co-parenting counselling could facilitate open discussion of issues and negative emotions, as well as search for shared solutions.

A professional therapist may guide you into understanding the root of a disagreement and teach you ways to handle anger and resentment and how to resolve issues. So, when parents start arguing about their children, they can stop and think about better strategies and remember that both of them have the same goals – their children’s well-being.

Improving Communication

Communication is critical when parents are asked to share their responsibilities in raising their children. However, there can still be unhealthy communication patterns after a divorce due to these emotions and issues that were never fully resolved. Co-parenting counselling helps both of you as partners and allows you to learn new ways of talking to each other.

In counselling, common lessons can include aspects such as active listening, assertiveness to convey needs and assertiveness issues, and even conflict resolution. They help in smooth discussion about the children and set the tone for better communication in all aspects of co-parenting thus being of benefit to both children and their parents.

Fostering Consistency and Stability for Children

Children are more secure when they are in stable and predictable surroundings regardless of their parents’ divorce. Therapists can assist parents to see that it is beneficial for them to be consistent with the kind of parenting they give to their children, the kind of discipline and the kind of schedules that are set forth.

Counselling enables you and your former spouse to come to a mutual design of parenting where the needs of both parents and the children are taken into account. In these areas, discipline, schedules and decision making you are essentially creating a more structured environment post-divorce thus minimizing confusion and instability for the kids.

Co-parenting counselling is not about romantic reunion or being back together, and therefore the focus of the counselling is to develop a healthy parenting plan.