Divorce can be tough, especially when there are children involved. But what happens after the split can really shape how the family functions.
What is co-parenting?
Co-parenting is when parents who are divorced or separated come together to raise their children. They work together on the important decisions (such as education, religion and health) while handling the day-to-day decisions separately. With the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, whether a child should be vaccinated become a major consideration.
Like any partnership, co-parenting requires compromise and respect. But what makes it different is that it directly affects the development of children.
What are the things parents need to consider to co-parent effectively?
It is easy for spouses to go their separate ways and do whatever they want when the marriage does not work out. However, things are different when children are involved. Parents need to remember that their child is a shared responsibility. They should focus on the main task, which is parenting.
When having a conversation with the other parent, one must always believe that the other parent also wants the best for the child. If things get heated, take a breather. Communicating when angry can lead to hurtful comments and impulsive decisions. So, put aside your personal grievances and prioritise your child's well-being.
To co-parent effectively, one should also consider each parent's skills and circumstances when making decisions. For example, a parent who is an educator could have a say in how the child learns while a sporty parent can decide on the extra-curricular activities.
What is one challenge that divorced/separated parents face in co-parenting and how this has impacted children?
Poor communication - this tends to be a common challenge that divorced/separated parents face. Instead of communicating between themselves, they use the children as a messenger. This should be avoided as it can lead to misunderstandings. It also sets a poor example of communication for the child.
What were the challenges with co-parenting during the COVID-19 pandemic?
The challenges surrounding co-parenting during the COVID-19 pandemic were:
a. lost time with their child
b. the other parent manipulating the situation
c. vaccination issues
How does the law in Singapore deal with the above challenges?
It allows parties to come to Court if there are any disagreements. In Singapore, the Court always decides what is in the child's best interests. The Court does not based its decision on what the parents want.
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