Hot Topics     Home and Family     Healthy Kids    

Navigating the perils of co-parenting now



How communicating works

communication, parenting, co-parenting, divorced

Co-parenting between split parents, or a mother and father who never had a relationship besides parenting, has been fraught with its own responsibilities these past pandemic months. Governments have recognized the need to move kids between households during these times. But there are still concerns that can be alleviated with planning and care.

Nell Frizzell of British Vogue noted that reopenings may be making things harder rather than easier for many co-parenting situations.

“There is still enough gray area to create friction amongst even the most harmonious of parenting teams,” she writes as she examines several case studies, and checks in with specialists. “What is the legal standing for co-parents during the pandemic, now that lockdown is lifting?”

Legal standing is less an issue, she adds, than the ways in which two parents can agree on what they can and should do in the best interests of their shared child, as well as their individual households. The key is communication between the parents and a sensible approach to everybody’s health, experts tell her. A solution that one parent may think is right and proper may, for entirely understandable reasons, worry another parent.

“Each family needs to make safe, practical, sensible arrangements taking into account their personal circumstances,” Frizzell quotes a leading attorney in the field. “If you do decide to change your child arrangements orders then I advise that you have that written down, even just in an email or a text message – any form of written communication, as a point of record.”

It’s further noted that, if for any reason, the child is not seeing one parent, the expectation is that there needs to be some sort of continued contact, perhaps through Zoom or WhatsApp.

Frizzell notes that clinical psychologist Dr. Katie Adolphus is keen to point out that the way we’re all experiencing the pandemic will be different. In processing what is going on we will all probably go through various different stages: denial (telling ourselves it’s just the flu), defending (it’s okay, it won’t happen to me), despair (feeling that everything is hopeless), and deciding (making a practical plan for the areas of life we still can control). “But as co-parents, living in different places, you may be at different stages of this process to each other,” she says. “There is also a primal urge, during times of stress and danger, to want to keep your child close. That is understandable.”

Of course, everyone agrees that, as Frizzell puts it, “there may be moments of considerable tension, irritation and disagreement along the way.”

Talk about the ways in which the pandemic has disrupted everything!



Other articles by HVP News Reporters


  • Embracing tech in a healthful way

    Tech can be a friend to a family, here’s how

    Modern day parents are as much tech pioneers as their kids. Here are some helpful tips to ally with it in a productive, healthful way. read more »
  • Helpful strategies for dealing with OCD

    Understanding it’s a “brain glitch” is key

    OCD behavior in kids can be maddening and exasperating for caregivers. Psychologist Anna Prudovski shares her do’s and don’ts that tips can really help read more »
  • Safety Tips for Online Learning

    New learning environment, new guidelines

    Security expert offers helpful tips on how to be mindful of potential safety threats in the new environment of online learning. read more »
  • Thanksgiving in a pandemic

    HVParent readers share their plans for the upcoming holidays

    Hudson Valley Parent recently conducted a survey of its readers and asked how they were celebrating the holidays. Over 100 moms shared their Thanksgiving plans. read more »
  • A healthier parenting dynamic for tough times

    When the “good cop, bad cop” routine doesn’t cut it

    The Covid-19 Pandemic is causing particular strain on parents with different parenting styles who are now in closer contact. The article by Dr. Rebecca Schrag Herschberg from Psychology Today suggests ways to remedy the issues and still survive with a happy household. read more »
  • Distance learning blues…and laughs

    A mom shares her story of raising 4 kids during this trying time

    Writer mom Anne Fitzgerald shares how pandemic family life brings chaos, laughter, and perspective read more »
  • November is National Model Railroad Month

    Great hobby for kids and adults alike

    Model trains are such a great hobby. They come in all sizes. All price ranges. And over the years, it makes a great present that you can keeping adding on to. read more »
  • Preparing for a spike… or a surge

    If and when COVID-19 numbers go way up

    Some helpful tips on how to be proactive in the event of a surge in Covid-10 cases, more shutdowns, and more time inside read more »
  • Buy a new game for holiday fun

    A Hudson Valley Mom Approved list of 35 games to play at home

    As more of us are staying close to home, board games have increased in popularity. We asked our Hudson Valley moms what board games they like to play. read more »
  • Watch Maggie Smith raise her little kitten Pollo

    4-H Animal Science Online Program: “Cat Science - Raising Pollo”

    Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County’s 4-H Animal Science Program will begin a new educational online series called “Cat Science: Raising Pollo” hosted by Maggie Smith, 4-H Animal Science Program Manager. read more »