Looking for some co-parenting tips that actually work?

We know ending a relationship can be one of life’s most difficult challenges. Working with your ex to raise healthy, loving and well-adjusted children despite your split can be just as hard. 

But it is doable! There are many happy adult children of divorced parents who can attest to this fact.  

The key to successful co parenting is to separate your personal relationship with your ex from your co-parenting one.

It might be helpful to think of your current relationship with your ex as something entirely new, a relationship primarily focused on the well-being of your children.

Your marriage may be over, but your family is not.

Which is why we offer five positive co-parenting tips to help you work with your ex to raise happy healthy kids. 

We also talk about the unique challenges of co-parenting with a toxic ex (also known as a narcissist!).

Learn how to deal and make a difficult situation easier by using an awesome tool that’s recommended by many courtroom judges.


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Why Positive Co-Parenting Matters

We’re going to come right out and say it. Co-parenting is HARD.

Why put in all the work and emotional labor it’s going to take to sort things out? Because it matters to your kids.

The focus of co-parenting after divorce is to help your kids understand that your love for them will persist, despite changing circumstances. That’s priority number one.

Kids can feel very unstable and unsure of the world after their parents separate.

Children whose parents are able to maintain a cooperative relationship…

  • Feel More Secure.  Kids who trust the love of both parents adjust more easily to new living situations and have better self-esteem.
  • Demonstrate Better Problem Solving. Why? Because they learn from their parents’ example of working together.
  • Are Mentally and Emotionally Healthier. Children who are exposed to conflict between co parents are more likely to develop issues such as anxiety, depression, or ADHD.

RELATED: Top Ten Helpful Parenting Books


The big takeaway here? As difficult as it can be, finding a way to peacefully co-parent with your ex will have a positive impact on your child’s happiness, stability, and future well-being.


Top 5 Positive Co-Parenting Tips


1. Have A Plan and Stick To It!

Developing a comprehensive parenting plan takes work, but it is totally worth the effort. Take the time you need to establish boundaries, best practices, and expectations with your ex.

Doing this will take a lot of the guesswork and miscommunication out of co-parenting.

Draw up a co-parenting agreement that outlines exchange procedures, how you’ll handle requests for time modifications, how and when you’ll communicate, and where you will maintain important information about the kids.

Then once you have a co-parenting plan in place – stick to it!

This ensures that your children don’t have to constantly re-adjust their expectations due to last minute changes.

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2. Make Respectful Communication A Priority

You may not be friends with your ex, after all you divorced for a reason, but that doesn’t mean you can’t treat each other civilly. Respect is essential for the health of any family.

You’ll need to let your hurt feelings and anger take a backseat to the needs of your kids.


RELATED: Different Parenting Styles? How To Get On The Same Page!


You might find that since your separation, some methods of communication don’t work for you anymore.

It happens, don’t beat yourself up about it. Find a way to resolve the issue for the benefit of your kids.

If phone calls and texts are causing stress and conflict, you might want to use a specialized communication platform like OurFamilyWizard, which was designed specifically to make communication with a co-parent clear and respectful.


3. Put Your Kids First

Putting your children’s needs first may seem obvious, but many couples say it can be hard to remember in the heat of the moment. Particularly if the split was messy.

However, putting your children’s security and sense of stability ahead of your differences is key to a “successful” separation.

Do whatever it takes! Even if that means working with a family therapist to help facilitate the conversation between you and your co-parent about what’s best for your children. 

Putting the kids first means you don’t put your children in the middle. EVER.

Don’t use your kids as messengers or go-betweens. Putting them smack dab in the center of your drama isn’t fair to them.


RELATED: 21 Ways To Stop Yelling At Kids


Also don’t say negative things about your ex in front of your kids, or make them feel like they have to choose between you. This is so damaging to a child’s well-being!

Your kids have a right to build a relationship with their other parent however it works best for them, without your influence.


4. Provide Consistent and Easy Transitions

The move from one household to the next, no matter the frequency, can be very difficult for children. Help make the transition easier on your kids.

Prepare them ahead of time. Remind them the day before they’re leaving. Help them pack so they don’t forget anything they’ll miss.

Another co-parenting tip is to always drop off, rather than pick up your child.

It’s a good idea to avoid “taking” your kids from your co-parent if it can be avoided so you don’t risk interrupting a special moment (and having the awkwardness blamed on you).

If you can, make arrangements to drop your child off at your ex’s house.

Then at the end of the visit, have your ex drop them back off at yours.


5. Keep Each Other In The Loop

One of the things that makes co-parenting so hard is there is a lot of FOMO (fear of missing out) on both sides of the fence.

If your kids are doing something special or fun, like riding their bike for the first time, take a photo or video to share with your co-parent so they can experience the moment too.


RELATED: Top 12 Ways To Improve Your Parenting Skills Today


Let your kids know you’re doing this also, so they feel like their absent dad/mom is a part of special moments. Ask your ex to do the same for you.

For big events, like a graduation or playoff game, try your hardest to have both parents there. It means a lot to your kids.


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What If You’re Co-Parenting With A Toxic Ex?

This is such a trending topic we felt we had to address it.

In fact, if you search “co-parenting” on Pinterest, “co-parenting with a narcissist” is the number one search result. Number six is “co-parenting with an asshole”. Wow!! 



If your ex is a narcissistic co-parent, you’re obviously not alone. You’re also going to be dealing with a very high-conflict parenting situation.

These are the kind of custody cases where a co-parent is antagonistic, and purposely works to rile you up so they can get your attention and continue their hold over you.

Narcissists lack empathy for others. They take, but rarely give back in return.

They also tend to think of themselves as superior to most people, which means they rarely take responsibility for anything.


RELATED: When You’re Co-Parenting With A Narcissist


If this pattern sounds familiar, some or all of our positive co-parenting tips may not work for you.

You might need to take additional measures to protect yourself and your kids from being impacted by poor behavior on the part of your ex.

If healthy communication is not possible because one of you is too angry, hurt, or combative – you may need to use a less emotional means to share information, such as a co-parenting communication tool.


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A Co-Parenting Tool That Works

Even in contentious situations, you need to keep some form of communication channel open with your ex. Especially if you have joint custody.

Not sharing information regarding your kids’ welfare ends up hurting your children more than you.

It also sets a really bad example of conflict resolution, which isn’t what you want to model.

The OurFamilyWizard website/app provides all the tools parents need to organize shared parenting duties and reduce conflict between them.

Using a platform like this is one of our top co-parenting tips.

This co-parenting website is so effective, judges in all 50 states have ordered families to use it in certain contested custody cases.

With OurFamilyWizard you can:

  • Easily coordinate custody an visitation schedules.
  • Track and split expenses through an expense log.
  • Get documented reimbursements through OFWpay.
  • Keep your kids health and school records updated in an information bank.
  • Send secure messages that cannot be deleted or altered.
  • Get access to a TON of co parenting resources.

And that’s just a high level overview. OurFamilyWizard also serves as a reliable documentation source for court proceedings since all messaging is tamper-proof and stamped with the date, time, and name of the person who sent it.

No more he said/she said. If you communicate using this platform, it’s all saved right there in black and white.

If you need a way to share parenting info that is safe, secure, and reliable – this is a great way to go.


What is successful co-parenting? At its most basic, it’s putting the needs and well being of your children ahead of everything else.

Of all the co-parenting tips we’ve shared with you, that is number one.


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