Author: Lea Zweig, Psy.D.

Co-Parenting San DiegoCo-parenting is a term used to describe a parenting situation in which the parents are not married, living together, or in an intimate relationship with one another. This can be a difficult situation for some parents, especially if they are going through a challenging divorce or separation from their partner. The most challenging part of co-parenting is working together to maintain consistency between the two home environments for the children.

Communication is essential in developing a healthy co-parenting relationship. Healthy communication begins with active listening and maintaining a productive tone with one another. Good communication can be difficult for some parents if there are unresolved issues lingering from the romantic relationship; however, it is important to keep the best interest of the children in mind. According to, there are six ways to maintain effective communication with your co-parenting partner:

  1. Set a business like tone rather than focusing on your emotions
  2. Make requests not demands
  3. Listen to each other
  4. Show restraint and do not overreact
  5. Commit to meeting and talking consistently
  6. Keep conversations kid focused

Effective communication can help establish the necessary consistency between your home and your co-parent’s home. Setting the same basic structure at both homes will help minimize confusion and frustration for your child during the transitions. Another way to minimize the impact of separation on your child is by setting similar rules, consequences, and schedules for each home. This kind of consistency between environments will help your child know what to expect and what is expected of them.

It is important to show your co-parent respect if you expect them to show you respect in return. Disagreements will happen with your co-parent and sometimes you will have to compromise. If you are having trouble keeping the conversation going because you cannot agree about something, it might be time to work with a mediator or a family therapist to come to an agreement. A third party like a family therapist or psychologist can help facilitate the conversation, keep it moving in a productive direction, and help provide the tools needed to co-parent effectively.

For more information, check out or reach out to a local psychologist or family therapist for help and support. If you live in the San Diego area, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our office of San Diego psychologists and therapists for additional information and guidance.