Transcript for How to navigate co-parenting during the coronavirus pandemic
many families restructuring their daily lives and for those who co-parent it can be complicated when everyone is asked to stay home. Psychiatrist Janet Taylor is here to give us some tips on how to navigate co-parenting during these very untraditional times. Dr. Taylor, I know you're co-parenting right now, how are you coping? Exactly. Co-parenting is a challenge in the best of times. But the key, and as you mentioned, I'm divorced myself to really think about communicating in the spirit of cooperation for the well-being of your child or children. How do you do that? You focus on making them understand that no matter what the state is of your current relationship you're keeping them first. You're also willing to exchange schedules and ask your partner what help they need, acknowledge them and see how you can truly be better together even though you're apart. And with all this anxiety and fear circling this situation, and yes, divorce in the best of circumstances is trying, trying to juggle schedules. How can parents maintain that schedule during this crisis? Especially if we're worried about transferring germs, that's a potential nightmare. Well, it is a nightmare. So then you think about care, right, and so be aware of where your children are going and if your partner says, you know, what kind of exposures do they have, this isn't the time to pick fights but to be honest and thoughtful about minimizing those exposures. If you have been exposed or they have been exposed that if your schedules have to change you can work with that and not pick and point about that. So, it's really about being thoughtful in your interactions and keeping the children first. I'm divorced as well. My ex-husband lives out of state. My daughters had a scheduled visit with him, we both decided it was best they stay home. Sometimes the parent has to make a sacrifice. But it's not always easy for people to be that person to make the sacrifice, what are the tips for those parents in those types of situations? Avoid keeping it personal. I understand the angst, anxiety, even anger, but some relief of being away from that relationship. But to really focus and think about, it's about making decisions together. If you have to alter the schedule, maybe you can make it up later and you can stay connected using the social media. If you're the custodial parent, and in charge of homework, maybe you can dial in that other person and let them monitor virtually and to continue the check-ins. Check-ins are important for your children and also for you. We all need support during this time and now what better time to try and change the dynamics of a relationship than now. Actually, I have said this with all of my family members it feels as though we're seeing each other more often than typical because we're checking in. I'd imagine a good tip would be for the other parent to have a facetime visit. Check in once a day with your children on facetime. Exactly, you can have a covid-19 check-in, where you can include the other parent, talk about what concerns your kids have, talk about any updates and fears they have. It's important for our children to know, maybe we have had a disagreement, divorced or separated, there are ways to work through the emotions and it could be a healthier outcome for everyone. I agree. Dr. Janet Taylor, incredible advice. Thank you so much for your time.
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