Co-Parenting Conflicts: How Counseling Can Help

21 January 2022
 Categories: , Blog


 Raising a child is a rewarding, but difficult, job. This is especially true if you're trying to survive as a single parent. Today's parents don't' always follow traditional norms. Some are divorced, separated, or not married and not living together. This leaves the parents no choice but to co-parent.

Co-parenting is also difficult for couples, too. The two must learn to get along with each other while doing their part to support their child. For parents having trouble making this arrangement work, co-parenting counseling is an option. To decide if this type of counseling can help, parents need to understand more about counseling services.

What Is Co-Parenting Counseling?

For parents not living in the same household to parent successfully, they need to learn communication strategies. The strategies help ensure neither parent feels like the other is prying into their personal lives while still sharing information about the child.

Some types of strategies the counselor goes over include the following:

  • Scheduling visits and other activities
  • Addressing issues without blaming one another
  • Exchanging information without being intrusive
  • Setting and maintaining boundaries

Co-family counseling is most successful when both parents commit to communicating for the sake of the child or children.

What Are Three Types Of Co-Parenting?

Parents having issues with communication while sharing parent responsibilities often fall into one of three common types of co-parenting. A therapist may refer to one of three types during a counseling session.

Super Friends: These co-parents get along well and have little or no conflict. All their actions are motivated by ensuring the child's wellbeing, but boundaries are frequently crossed.

Oil and Water: These couple exhibit constant conflict, the inability to compromise, and mistrust. This is toxic for everyone involved, and nothing constructive comes from this type of relationship. 

Business Partners: These co-parents are emotionally detached, have clear boundaries, and comminute only when necessary. 

Based on the relationship type, the counselor works with the parents to ensure they get the help needed to create a working co-parent relationship.

How Does Counseling Help?

The therapist begins by talking to the couple and determining what type of relationship they have. From there, the therapist discusses the issue and offers tips to help improve the co-parenting relationship.

Even parents that are super friends can have issues. While it's ideal to get along, parents must have certain boundaries to avoid confusing the child. Parents that exhibit too close a relationship can give children false hope of reconciliation.

Toxic oil and water parents need advice on how to co-parent without conflict. Conflict creates insecurity and fear in children. The therapist can help with communication skills and getting along.

Business partner parents require skills to make sure they are communicating enough. They must understand how to get messages to each other and not allow the child to use their lack of communication as a way to manipulate them.

If you and your partner are having any issues co-parenting, it's a good idea to look into a counseling center, such as One Step Beyond Counseling and Wellness. The counseling sessions help you create a positive co-parenting environment by giving therapeutic support and creating a positive experience for everyone involved.