Cooperative parenting after a divorce, or for parents who were never married, can most certainly be a challenge. Moreover, it is a long-term situation that will not simply “work itself out” without serious effort and a commitment to your child’s best interests. Relationship and parenting experts will point to communication as the most important factor in any coparenting situation, and there is little argument with that perspective. However, most tend to focus on the communication between parents, while, in practice, it is just as vital to communicate effectively with your child as well.
Particular Challenges for Non-Custodial Parents
In most separated-parent family arrangements, one parent—usually the parent with primary physical custody—will spend more time with the child than the other. The other—or non-custodial—parent does not necessarily love his or her child any less; it is just the nature of the situation that limits time together.