There are so many different ways to co-parent your kids. Whether you’re divorced, separated or living apart for a period of time, being a part of a co-parenting arrangement can sometimes be wacky and overwhelming. Of course, you likely have more helping hands to pitch in, but co-parenting can also lead to anxieties about being away from your child or missing milestones in the moments when you aren’t there. Regardless of your specific concerns around co-parenting, there are plenty of ways to make it an easier journey, especially when growth and milestones are concerned.
Whether you’re brand new to co-parenting or you’ve been in the game for a while, there are plenty of new techniques you can learn and tips you can use to make the flow of your family even better. Although some of these techniques will depend on your partner or ex’s willingness to participate, you can always give things a try and see what works for you. Here are a few different ways that you can handle child milestones within the framework of co-parenting.
- Communication Is Key
This tip goes both for families who co-parent and for all kinds of families in general. No matter what milestones your family finds themselves close to, communicating about progression, events and even the emotions surrounding the events at hand can be a way to feel connected and comfortable. Plus, sharing things about your child can be a great experience to bond over, even if you and your child’s other parent aren’t particularly close anymore.
- Share Techniques for Younger Milestones
There are so many milestones that babies hit within their first year of life. It can sometimes be difficult to share every single milestone between both parents, as there are so many of them. But when it comes to milestones like sitting up, rolling over, saying first words and taking first steps, it can be important to share techniques that can help your baby’s progression. This is where communication comes into play yet again.
- Giving Your Kids Agency
While this may not be the best idea for babies and toddlers, giving your kids agency can be a great solution for older kids, both to help them feel comfortable and to give you as the parent a bit of freedom. When you give your kids a bit of freedom as to who they invite to things and choose activities that make them happy. This also helps raise strong and happy kids.
- Lean Into Your Individual Skills as Parents
Sometimes, you might be a better confidant than your co-parent, and just the same, there are likely strengths your co-parent has that you don’t. That’s part of the beauty of parenting together! When it comes to helping your child through their milestones, lean into your individual parenting strengths and skills. It can truly be transformational for your child’s development.
- Keep a Calendar
This works as an overall co-parenting tip, but it’s definitely worthwhile to consider when it comes to milestones specifically, too. Not only can keeping a calendar be a great way to share things with the whole family, but sharing a calendar with your co-parent and the rest of the family can keep everyone up to date on events, milestones and important dates.
- Lean Into Technology
Speaking of calendars, using an online calendar and other forms of sharing dates and events can be instrumental in handling milestones between multiple family units. There are so many ways to lean into the use of technology specifically for family purposes. You can share photo streams and take videos of important milestones and events, you can share calendars and email chains or you can even put everything in one place by using one of the many popular co-parenting apps that have come into use in recent years.
- Spend Time Together If Possible
Although the amount of time you spend together will ultimately depend on both of your comfort levels and your situation in your specific family unit, there is something to be said for spending time as a whole family if all parties are willing to do that. Whether you plan specific days to spend time together or you go to events together to support your child and their accomplishments, spending a bit of time as a family unit can ensure that nobody misses any of your kids’ important milestones in life.
Handling Milestones When Co-Parenting
Being a parent of any kind is a challenge, and co-parenting with an ex or any other parent can sometimes be difficult. However, as long as you both want the best for your child and you are devoted to loving and supporting them, you can find solutions that work for everybody involved so that nobody misses important milestones, and you can share in the moments that make your family happy.