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Positive Co-Parenting – Part 4

Posted: 12-02-2021

Following on from my earlier blogs Positive Co-Parenting – Part 1, Positive Co-Parenting – Part 2 and Positive Co-Parenting – Part 3 below are my final tips to help positive co-parenting:


  1. Let go of the past.  You do not have to sing the Frozen song unless you want to! It does not help anyone, least of all you or your children, to keep going over the circumstances of the breakup. Keeping hold of the past keeps you stuck in a rut, unable to move forward and hurting. This will filter down to your children. Stop allowing your ex to hurt you, and take back control of your own life.
  2. Recognise that trust has to be built again and can take time.  Trust goes both ways and both parents have to let go of the past and learn to trust one another again. This is a hard thing to do, but essential.
  3. Don’t play games. Retaliation and revenge may be powerful emotions and it may be very tempting to get your ex-partner back for what they did to you, or to show them up in front of the children, but do not be tempted to do this. It often simply backfires and makes you more emotional and affects how the children see you, or even worse drags them into the game and hurts them. Playing games will destroy your children in the process, especially if the other parent is also game playing.
  4. Remember you are a parent.  You are providing a model for the behaviour of your children and they will learn from you.  Children will watch you and copy you. If you are angry, then chances are your children will be angry in their relationships. Give them a good example to follow to help them grow into fully rounded happy adults.
  5. If you no longer live at the family home, do not just let yourself back in whenever you want. Whilst the house may still be legally yours, you need to respect your ex-partner and children and give them space and privacy. If you need to go to the family home for any reason agree the time and date in advance.  If you remain at the home allow access by agreement to avoid arguments at the front door with the children watching, or worse police attendance and solicitors letters.
  6. Encourage contact with the whole family. Recognise that contact will need to be maintained with the wider family, and ensure that any arrangements include this. If at all possible, maintain good relations with the parents and family of the other parent. Children have a right to know and keep in contact with their whole family, and this will help them to be well balanced and secure and feel loved and supported.
  7. Learn to co-operate with the other parent. There will times when you need them in order to deal with an issue e.g. an emergency baby sitter, or a drama at school. A positive co-parenting relationship is one of co-operation and helping the other parent when needed.
  8. Always be flexible. Recognise that it is inevitable that plans will need to change sometimes, and accept this. Children will have football matches, dance recitals, friends etc. Both parents need to continue to support the children with their outside interests and friendships, and so these things will need to be incorporated into any agreed contact arrangements. Families also have commitments.
  9. Recognise new roles. After a break up each parent will inevitably need to take on new roles. During the relationship each probably did the roles they were comfortable with, or good at. Now both parents will have to take on new roles, and this may be hard. Recognise this and do whatever you can to support these new roles. If the other parent has never got your daughter ready for her ballet lesson, then talk them through what they need to do. If the other parent has never put a shelf up, then show them how to do it.  Share recipes for the children’s favourite food and present lists for birthdays and Christmas to avoid double presents.  Help children buy the other parent a gift for their birthday.  These little things go a long way to effective co-parenting.
  10. Accept that your relationship with the children will change over time. This has nothing to do with the other parent. As children get older they tend to want to be more independent, and so fixed contact arrangements may no longer be possible. Talk to your child and the other parent about these changes, and agree to allow the child to have more say about the arrangements as they grow older.

It’s never too late to start to positively co-parent – Even if you have not had a good relationship with the other parent to date, you can change this.


Sousa Law are expert Family Lawyers in Southampton. Should you be struggling with making child arrangements for your children, Sousa Law can help you work towards co-parenting and to ensure that suitable arrangements are put in place through mediation, collaborative law, Arbitration, or if necessary through the Court process. Contact us on 02380 713060 or by email

By Nicole Biggs and Catherine Sousa