Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law

Teamwork favors the best interests of the child

Massachusetts parents know that good co-parenting will give their children the best chances for feeling loved and cared for. All the written and unwritten rules of parenting, however, serve only one important purpose: the best interests of the child. Parents must realize the importance of teamwork and be willing to set aside their differences in order to focus on the care of their children.

A recent article shared a few tips for co-parents who are still going through their divorce or who have just finished the legal process. According to the article, the major challenge in a co-parenting environment is favoritism, a natural but avoidable occurrence when children split their time between parents.

One of the most important rules in co-parenting is never to talk badly to the children about the other parent. Children who view their parents as a team, even if they are not together, are less likely to choose a favorite.

Another tip is to create uniform rules that are enforced by both parents. If children can get away with more while with one parent, they may develop a preference for that household. Rules should be uniformly enforced by both parents, especially when it comes to bedtime, TV use, snacks, homework and proper manners.

Finally, when a child misbehaves, punishment style should be the same for both parents. This is a way to remind children, that regardless of which household they're in, they won't get away with their bad behavior.

Co-parenting, whether in Worcester, Massachusetts, or anywhere, allows parents to enjoy a close and fair relationship with their children. Parents need to set aside their disagreements for the sake of their sons and daughters and come up with a uniform set of rules that benefit their children's best interests. However, when child custody disputes or co-parenting concerns arise, the help of an experienced family law attorney can be invaluable.

Source: WickedLocal.com," Teamwork Matters: 3 Tips for Better Co-Parenting," Aug. 14, 2013

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