What Is Parenting Coordination?
Parenting Coordination is a child-centered dispute resolution process that was born out of the recognition that when children are exposed to high conflict parenting, the children’s emotional and social needs are at risk. Research has shown that poor co-parenting negatively influences a child’s adaptive capacities throughout life.
Parenting is a challenging task, and it becomes even more complex when parents find themselves in high-conflict situations or facing difficulties in reaching agreements regarding their children. In such cases, the role of a Parenting Coordinator (PC) becomes invaluable. A PC is a neutral professional who helps parents navigate through conflicts, improve communication, and create a nurturing co-parenting environment for the well-being of their children. A PC requires specialized training and experience on issues such as high-conflict families, child development, relocation, family court law, informed consent, abuse, and other such issues.
What Does a Parenting Coordinator Do?
A Parenting Coordinator’s role is to improve parenting and co-parenting, mitigate risks to children, and enhance positive child outcomes.
A Parenting Coordinator (PC) acts as a mediator between parents who may be struggling with ongoing conflicts. The PC helps parents find common ground, understand each other’s perspectives, and work towards mutually beneficial solutions. By providing a neutral and non-judgmental space for communication, the PC helps manage, and ideally, reduce, the level of conflict. The PC assists parents in developing tools and strategies in making decisions related to their children’s well-being. The PC offers guidance and helps parents navigate through various parenting issues such as parenting time schedules, education, healthcare, and extracurricular activities. The PC ensures that both parents have an equal opportunity to express their concerns and preferences, ultimately leading to joint decisions that prioritize the best interests of the children involved.
Effective communication is key to successful co-parenting. The PC helps parents improve communication skills, teaching parents how to express their needs and concerns constructively. By facilitating healthy dialogue, the PC fosters an environment of respect and understanding, reducing misunderstandings and conflicts between parents. This, in turn, benefits the children by providing them with a more stable and harmonious environment. The PC may help parents interrupt destructive intergenerational cycles through assessment, education, guidance, and coaching.
Above all, PCs are dedicated to the best interests and well-being of the children. The PC works toward promoting positive emotional and psychological development. Strengthening co-parenting strengthens children’s adjustment.
Could You Benefit from a Parenting Coordinator?
Co-parents might need a PC if they are constantly in conflict with one another. Employing a PC is an attempt by both parents to avoid an expensive full legal battle. It generally costs $500-$750 an hour to work with a PC. While this may seem expensive, it can be well worth the cost for many parents.
Parenting Coordination is not only for high conflict parents. Parenting Coordinators are similarly effective in cases where the parents get along reasonably well. As children get older or time passes life finds a way of changing. So too must your parenting time schedule. Having a PC available provides both parents an opportunity to discuss their thoughts and get a decision without the need for costly attorneys or court appearances.
Choosing the right PC is a very important part of the process. Not all Parenting Coordinators are right for all families. Similarly, not all families are right for a Parenting Coordinator.
In high-conflict situations, the PC can make a significant difference in helping parents navigate the challenges of co-parenting. By acting as a mediator, decision-making support, and effective communication facilitator, the PC helps parents build healthier relationships and prioritize the well-being of the children. The PC’s role is crucial in fostering positive co-parenting dynamics, ultimately creating a nurturing environment where children can thrive.
If you find yourself in a challenging co-parenting situation, considering the assistance of a Parenting Coordinator might be a valuable step towards creating a brighter future for your children.