A common tip to hear when it comes to telling your child about your decision to divorce is to create a “united front” with your ex-spouse, informing them together. It is also helpful to maintain this united front even after the divorce is final when it comes to matters involving your kids.
That is an easy thing to say. However, how do you accomplish this?
The four Cs of a united front
Building and sustaining a united front between two divorced parents requires care – and time. There are four elements that parents must commit to in order to do this, including:
- Communication: It always bears repeating that communication is one of the most important elements of effective co-parenting. It is also a critical factor in maintaining a united front as divorced parents. Keeping an open line of communication can help you and your co-parent stay on the same page.
- Consistency: This applies to various aspects of creating a united parenting front. For example, it is critical to maintain some consistent basic rules, such as bedtime for younger children, between houses. Consistent communication is also important.
- Commitment: It will not always be easy to maintain such a united front, especially if you and your co-parent face conflict. However, creating a sustainable united front requires dedication from both parents. It also is necessary for both parents to stay committed to upholding the child’s best interests. This provides common ground for the foundation of working together.
- Conflict strategy: You will not agree on everything, even if you usually get along well with your co-parent. As your children grow – and their needs change – you may continue to face complex issues and obstacles in your parenting journey that can leave you at odds with the other parent. Parents should try to manage conflict effectively without involving their children. Establishing a strategy to handle disputes can help you uphold a united front before your children.
The details of how you approach a united front in parenting will vary since every family has different needs. These are simply four of the overarching elements that can assist parents in achieving this goal.