Co-parenting is a familiar term to a lot of people. It is a situation whereby the duties of the raising of a child are shared by two adults.
The adults could be two fathers, two mothers, a father and an older sibling, a mother and a grandparent, and a range of other combinations.
A recent picture uploaded to Facebook by Emilee Player has since gone viral and tugged at the heartstrings of thousands worldwide.
The photo was taken in Columbus, Georgia, and showed the woman's 4-year-old step-daughter, Maelyn Player, at her soccer game. However, Emilee and Maelyn weren't the only ones in the picture.
The picture, which sends a very important message about co-parenting, showed that the girl’s soccer game was attended by her biggest fans.
It showed her mom, Clara Cazeau, her dad, Ricky Player, her stepmom, Emilee Player, and her stepdad, Alex Cazeau.
Maelyn’s four biggest fans all had on blue jerseys which were all emblazoned with proud titles, indicating the wearer’s relationship with Maelyn.
There have been more than 32,000 reactions to the photo, which has been shared more than 82,000 times since it was posted less than a week ago.
According to Emilee, it is a norm for all four of them, and sometimes three (when Alex Cazeau who's in the army, is away) to attend her soccer games and support her. Maelyn's mom, Clara, had the shirts made as she figured it would be a cooler way to show support.
As it turns out, the family's support of one another goes beyond Maelyn's soccer games. Emilee and Ricky's daughter, Everlee Player, is also showed sufficient support by her step-parents, Clara and Alex Cazeau.
When asked for co-parenting advice, Clara advised that differences be put aside and effort is put in for the sake of the child.
What doe experts have to say about co-parenting a child successfully after a divorce?
It usually happens that, when parents ask for advice on co-parenting, rather than being told what to do, they are told what not to do.
While such advice has its use, it also has demerits, one of them being that it doesn't provide a way for parents to help their child cope with the divorce and flourish in spite of it.
For effective co-parenting, in most situations, there are a few things that are advised.
You are required to be available to your child, both emotionally and physically. Aside from merely seeing your child, you need to be emotionally present as well. Maintain a genuine interest in their lives and help them when necessary. Discussing the divorce with them is a good idea. You need to open the topic for discussion and help your child truly understand the situation.
Hear their take on it, as well as their feelings. If possible, this discussion can be done together with the other parent. Reassure them of continued cooperation.Try to get more information on what your child needs in order to flourish. There are also both informal and formal sources of co-parenting support, so locate them.
There are other things you can do, but above all, you must ensure that the child maintains a meaningful relationship with both parties. One must also keep the child away from whatever conflict you may have with the other party.