You and your co-parent worked out a comprehensive parenting plan during your divorce that is focused on your child’s well-being. However, while it looks good on paper, the reality of has turned out to be challenging. There’s still a lot of pain and resentment from the break-up of your marriage that’s getting in the way of making it work. Your child is suffering for it.
If that sounds a lot like what you’re going through, you’re not alone. A lot of newly separated and divorced couples face this. One solution that many turn to is co-parenting therapy.
What does co-parenting therapy involve?
You may dread the idea of sitting down with your ex and a therapist – particularly if you went through marriage counseling. However, co-parenting counseling focuses on different issues. It’s not about who wronged whom in the marriage. It’s intended to help people learn to truly co-parent their children.
That typically means first acknowledging that both of you are good parents – even if you have very different parenting styles. Co-parenting therapy helps both of you get a third-party perspective. You may each be in your own bubble surrounded by supportive family members and friends telling you that you’re right and your ex is wrong about everything. Just as with any kind of joint counseling, one advantage is learning to see things from the other person’s perspective.
It can also help you improve your communication. That’s crucial because so much co-parenting communication gets filtered through the lens of old triggers so that even a simple request or statement can be misunderstood and blown out of proportion.
It can help keep you out of court
Whether you begin this therapy while you’re still negotiating your parenting plan or later when you are having problems making it work, a good therapist can help you resolve issues without having to fight them out in court and ultimately putting them in the hands of a judge.
Wherever you are in the process of developing or working with a parenting plan, if you’re struggling, it may be worthwhile to determine whether some counseling might help the process go more smoothly and help you both be the parents you want to be for your child.