Broaden the Scope of Your Co-Parenting Resolutions

Father and daughter laughing outside during the winter, bundled up

The holiday season is finally winding down for many families. Now, it's a new year, which means a fresh opportunity to consider what you hope for your family to achieve this year. It's also a perfect time to think about the scope of your current shared parenting goals. 

As a divorced or separated parent, some of what you might hope for in the new year is peace in your co-parenting. If you follow our blog, you may have seen our worksheet for brainstorming different co-parenting goals for the year. If you already noted a few specific goals, take a moment now to consider how you might broaden the scope of those goals. 

Goals for Scheduling

Your parenting schedule keeps your family continually moving. Maintaining clear documentation of your regular schedule and any changes is crucial to keep the pattern flowing. As such, having a goal to attain or keep your schedule well organized year is an excellent parenting goal.

Broaden the scope of this goal by taking the time to plan ahead. Do you have any family vacations already in mind for the coming year? What about work commitments? Communicating early with your co-parent about plans that could interrupt your set parenting schedule will give you a chance to propose adjustments and reach agreements that work for everyone. 

Goals for Communication

In co-parenting, it's essential always to strive to communicate in a practical, unambiguous manner. Engaging in conflict or badmouthing one another can derail this objective and lead to emotional hardship faced by everyone, possibly even your children. 

Expand on the scope of your communication goals by taking measures to ensure that communication with your co-parent remains clear. When communicating through messages only, it's easy for details to get lost in the shuffle among dozens of short texts or buried in a long message. Consider using other forms of communication to keep certain information very clear.

For example, instead of asking your co-parent to swap parenting time over a message, try using the Time Swap feature on the OFW Calendar. Using this tool, you'll send only the dates and times of the proposed swap and a reason for the change. Your co-parent can approve your request or send a counteroffer if they have different dates to propose. Every change you two agree upon will be automatically documented in your parenting schedule on the calendar.

Goals for Expense Planning

Managing your money with care promotes financial stability in your household. In co-parenting, documenting shared costs and requesting reimbursements promptly helps keep everyone on the same page about child-related spending. 

With your co-parenting expenses goals set, think about the bigger picture. The scope of your expenses in total goes further than just focusing on parenting costs. Think about how you can improve your personal finances by finding more ways to save. Work to make smart purchases throughout the year, as this may help you save more overall.

Goals for Decision Making

Negotiating important parenting decisions with your co-parent in a calm, professional manner is the best way to discuss and reach agreements. If you've been practising this already, keep it up in the coming year. Always work to scope out moments in which you can parent together for the sake of your child's wellbeing.

The scope of this goal also can go much further than just in co-parenting. Staying organized can help you to make focused decisions in many areas of your life, not only in co-parenting. Strive to declutter your mind by finding the right way for you to organize valuable information. Write down essential details in a place you won't forget, or try using apps that help you keep crucial data secure and available when you need it. 

The scope of what you hope for in your co-parenting in the coming year might include many little things, yet working to improve your communication is a positive step towards achieving so many goals. Remember that achieving your goals may take time, so do your best to be persistent. Using tools that help to support your co-parenting resolutions can help to keep you on track by encouraging clear communication in every interaction.