What is Co-parenting?


It is referred to as a responsibility undertaken by both parents of a child who share equal duties in catering the child’s social and moral upbringing.

However, unlike the intimate relationships practiced by the adults in our modern-day society, co-parenting tends to focus more on the child.

Co-parenting is often termed bi parental care in evolutionary biology. And it’s regarded as a situation in which parental care is both varied out by mother and father of a child.

Co-parenting was mostly related to the nuclear families. But with the invention of the United Nations convention on the Child’s Rights on the 20th November 1989, which places much emphasis on a balanced relationship by both parent towards the child even if the parents are divorced, co-parenting has gained much recognition as a right.

The co-parenting principle according to the United Nations convention on Child’s Right rule advocates for the rendering of care by both parties by the father and mother even if separated.

The principle of Co-parenting perspective

Co-parenting principle was established first in early 21st century in Italy by the association of separated parents who were fought against a social mindset, a legal system and a culture which is gender based discriminatory and a system which brings conflicts between former parents especially when children were involved.

This associations were mostly concerned about issues leading to divorce and also fights for fairness in cases of judiciary separations between the man and the woman.

The principle of co-parenting highlights that a child has the right to foster a good relationship between his father and his mother even if they are separated or divorced unless there’s a recognized need to separate the child from one or both parents.

Importance of co-parenting

  • Its enables children to proactively live decent better lives instead of managing lives not good enough for them.
  • Children growing up who see the kind of respect their parents give to each other exhibit these social maturity traits as the grow to become adults.
  • Children watching their parents communicate perfectly with each other instills the same social skills to the children as the grow up into adults.
  • The children live and have better relationships living under the care of the two parents
  • Avoiding putting children in the middle of conflicts enables them to do better even outside the home.
  • Co-parenting parents are exposed to less tension, experience smoother lives and witness lesser conflicts and have enough time to have exciting moments with their children.
  • Both parents get more involved into their children’s lives when there’s co-parenting. They are able to make relevant inputs in their lives.
  • The family is considered a place of comfort which allows children to grow in confidence as they explore the world.
  • Children learn organizational skills when they are nurtured under both parents.
  • Children learn to address problems amicably, a relevant skill that will serve them better as they grow into adults.
  • Children learn what to do when two people think they are right in conversation, but they tend to disagree with the subject in question.

Best ways to carry out co-parenting

Co-parenting with either your spouse or espouse will enable your children to have a decent and healthy relationship with you.

It also helps in promoting a more balanced and stable relationship between children and their parents. Children become free to unveil their aspirations to their parents.

Co-parenting is usually difficult with separated parents but it’s always advisable for parents to set aside their differences for the sake of their children.

However, the following are some ways you can carry out co-parenting.

  • Focus on the needs of your children. Their needs should be most Paramount to you always try to meet them. You should always try to give them the desired Care. And for divorced parents, regularly check up on your children to provide them with the desirable care.
  • Ensure to set behavioral guidelines in respect for your children activities, schedules and discipline. You should make sure they stick and adhere to this guideline.
  • Frequently communicating with your ex spouse if separated on ways to enable a cordial relationship with your children is also very important.
  • You should also decide on parenting plan with responsibilities shared amongst the two parents especially if the two parents are divorced. In some cases, the male couple may decide on paying the children school fees and footing their immediate needs while the female couple decides to groom the children until they are able to cater for themselves.
  • Learn to settle issues outside the presence the presence of your children. It is considered unhealthy to solve issues in the presence of your children.
  • Amicable interactions at school and extra curricular activities.
  • Ability to be flexible enough especially when something comes up.
  • Respect and acknowledge that each parent has a relationship with the children. This is applicable to divorced parents.
  • Consistently let each other know about the sudden changes in your lives to enable get rid of overeating. Sudden changes might occur in financially and so on such cases should be let known to the other parent especially if separated to avoid the blame game.

Reasons why co-parenting doesn’t work effectively

  • An active issue with alcohol, drugs or other substances: this comes into play when a particular parent suffers from substance abuse. This will make such a parent erratic and, in most cases, forget to play his part in providing and caring for the children.
  • At least one parent is trying to gain control over the other: When there are power struggles amongst the two parents, the children become victims of many circumstances and adequate care will rarely be given. A situation where a particular parent tries to seek control over the other will result to lack of respect for the co-parent and this will terminate the working relationship between the two parents.
  •  The parents are incapable of collaboration: if there was no initial collaboration during the period of marriage then it will be difficult for the parents to collaborate after marriage. This is because co-parenting requires adequate collaboration between the two parents.
  • One parent is emotionally abusive of the other parent: The ultimate sign of disrespect is abuse and where abuse is prevalent then co-parenting will be difficult.
  • One parent abandons or neglect the children: If a parent is not willing to parent then co-parenting will be extremely difficult.


  • Marriage and Divorce, 2013by Dr Karen Finn’s blog.
  • Impactsonco- parenting, 2004 by Dr Kenneth Wardron
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