Strategies for Healthy Co-Parenting

Dr. Grace Graham, an independent clinical psychologist, has worked extensively with families affected by divorce. Experienced in conducting psychological evaluations for custody purposes, Dr. Grace Graham has also spoken in various venues on the importance of co-parenting for divorced couples.

The strategy of co-parenting requires a divorced couple to raise their children collaboratively. This can be a challenge for a couple whose interactions often cause contention and stress, but studies have shown that this approach creates the most consistency and stability for the children involved. For this reason alone, it is important for the divorcing couple to learn and implement best practices for co-parenting.

Experts have suggested that focusing solely on the children may be the most important factor in healthy co-parenting. When an issue arises, the couple should remain unemotional and calmly discuss resolutions that would be in the child’s best interest. Stability is also necessary in such a child-focused strategy, as children thrive when rules are consistently observed and when both parents agree on particular limits. And finally, both parents must avoid making negative comments about the other one, so that children maintain a positive image of each parent and can rely on them as healthy role models.