Many divorced or separated parents in Illinois today choose to co-parent their children. Co-parenting, or shared parenting, is a great custody arrangement when parents are willing to cooperate and make the children the top priority. However, the transition between households can be tricky to navigate. Parents often must coordinate pickup/drop-off times and locations and there can be unpredictable emotions involved. Here are a few ways parents can make this transition easier for everyone.
Be attentive and keep things light
For parents who are receiving their children after an extended time away, always give them full attention. Now is not the time to be on a phone call or finishing up work-related chores. Parents should show their excitement and, most importantly, save any important co-parent discussions for another time.
Deciding where to make the swap can be surprisingly stressful sometimes. Many families will have one parent drop children off at school while the other parent picks them up. However, if school is not in session, parents may want to experiment with neutral meeting locations like a playground or a park.
Keep a routine
Keeping routines and rituals on switch day can provide a sense of stability that will make children more at ease. Start a ritual or tradition the kids can do while they are settling in or putting their things away. This can turn into a relaxing and special time everyone looks forward to.
No matter how things unfolded in the past relationship for parents, they will be successful in co-parenting if they always put the children first. Without question, parenting after a divorce or separation can be complicated. For parents in Illinois who have questions about parenting or child custody arrangements, it can be very beneficial to seek the services of an experienced and knowledgeable family law attorney.