Parenting as a team
Even when parents are not romantically involved, they can build a relationship that supports and provides for their children. Team parenting is working together for your children's sake.
Parenting teams can include not only the mother and father, but step-parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other caregivers.
As you make day-to-day decisions, ask yourself what impact the decision will have on your relationship with your child.
"I will skip playing basketball this afternoon even though I really want to play, because it is my scheduled time to be with my child, and I want her to know she can count on me."
Use businesslike communications. Don't take the other person for granted. When you go to a team member's home, act like you're going into an important office to take care of some business.
Keep the peace
Be cordial. Keep your feelings in check. Be orderly. Avoid making assumptions about others -- get clarification on everything.
If problems occur, set up a meeting to try to resolve it. (Usually the worst time is when tempers are flaring.)
Learn some tried-and-true ways of communicating to keep the peace.
Don't ask your child questions about his/her mother/father's business. All parents have problems to solve or negotiate, but the child doesn't need to be involved.
When a team member has an issue, make it your job to listen. When you think you understand, explain what you've heard. Don't get into arguing or defending. Just listen first, then discuss.
Simply apologize if you've made a mistake, and use a descriptive word that labels your behavior as wrong.
Taking full responsibility for your behavior will limit the amount of time the other person spends getting you to understand what you've done. Look for ways to make up for it.
In your efforts to be a better parent, one of the rewards is that you will be a better person.
Ask for help and cooperation when you need it. Give the other person a chance to come through.