There is a wealth of research that shows that ongoing tension or arguments between you and your current or ex-partner will get in the way of effective co-parenting. Whether you are together or separated, relational difficulty between co-parents is proven to impact children and their life outcomes in childhood and in later life.
When parents don’t get on, their children are more likely to struggle emotionally in the present, act out, develop behavioural problems and do less well at school than their peers. They are also more likely to suffer from mental and physical health conditions in the future, and to grow up to have less successful relationships themselves.
While many parents feel that they are able to ‘protect’ their children from arguments and painful feelings that exist between their current or ex partners, research tells us that they are for the most part mistaken: Children are acutely aware of the emotional temperature of a room, and do not need to witness blazing arguments to know that things are not okay.
For parents that are separating or have separated, there may be even more emotional obstacles to overcome. However, with support, you can agree to make your children’s wellbeing your absolute priority, and parent together as well as possible, apart.