Co-parenting: This is behind the new family model

Our world is colorful, and that’s a good thing. But with all the new possibilities of love and family planning, sometimes you can lose perspective. New terms are constantly making their way into interpersonal relationships: nesting, polygamy, poaching, couvade syndrome, gift giving, attachment parenting, bird nesting and and and… (we’ve already gone through all of it here at or for you).

But there is still one key word missing that you may hear or read more and more often: co-parenting. It has happened to you too, hasn’t it? But what is that exactly?

this is co-parenting

The term for this family model is made up of the Latin co (together) and the English parenting. Bottom line: With co-parenting, you have a child together without being in a romantic relationship. Unlike the “accident” during a one-night stand, for example, having a child is a conscious decision. And: Procreation often takes place without intercourse with each other (but, for example, with the cup method). Both parents remain there for their common biological child and assume their responsibilities as parents, even though they have not had a relationship with each other (nor do they intend to become a couple through the baby).

The broader concept of co-parenting

If you go to co-parenting on Instagram, for example, you will find numerous photos and experiences that are colorful testimony that co-parenting can also be understood in a broader sense: that is, that one always talks about co-parenting when two people for the care of a child. This means that co-parenting also includes separated couples who continue to care for their children together. Or adoptive families and rainbow families.

What should the two of you agree to as co-parents?

For the model to work, it is essential that the (intended) parents are clear about these four things and exchange ideas intensively:

  • How do I support the parenting role of the other? And how would I infiltrate them?
  • What similarities do we have in parenting and what are the differences?
  • How do we want to distribute the daily tasks? Who is responsible for what?
  • How do we want to resolve conflicts?

These components were formulated by Mark Feinberg of Pennsylvania State University. And now, from the bottom of my heart to all readers who already have children: Did you address these questions in concrete terms before you became a family? Well, my husband and I don’t really, at least not particularly intensely. Of course we talk about our values ​​and how we imagine the future, but not, for example, what it would be like for us concrete no-go’s in education.

Herein lies a strength of shared parenting: without the trials and tribulations of a loving relationship, two people discuss these core issues.

Of course, in practice it can look very different when the little worm is there and warms hearts, but at least the theoretical foundation has been laid.

This reflects the basic idea of ​​co-parenting: how parents treat each other has a strong impact on the parent-child relationship. Because when there are discussions about raising children, values ​​or the distribution of roles, the psyche of the little ones also suffers.

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