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  • We Can Learn A Thing Or Two About Co-Parenting From Paulo Avelino And LJ Reyes

    How can separated parents navigate the challenges of co-parenting with a former partner and still build a secure relationship with his child?
    by Dahl D. Bennett .
We Can Learn A Thing Or Two About Co-Parenting From Paulo Avelino And LJ Reyes
PHOTO BY INSTAGRAM /PAULOAVELINO
  • On his Gram, Kapuso actor Paulo Avelino recently uploaded a few posts showing him spending quality time with 11-year old Aki, his son with former girlfriend LJ Reyes

    In his post, Paulo is shown with his arms around Aki as they pose for a father-son shot while on the way to the latter’s school. 

    The caption to his post was punctuated with a heart emoji and was heavy with nostalgia, “Weird to see this boy so independent. Don’t grow up so fast,” he wrote.  

    Paulo was in New York in early April for a US concert tour with singer Ogie Alcacid and another Kapuso Star, Janine Gutierrez

    The actor said he hasn’t seen his son since LJ decided to move to New York after a very public split with actor Paolo Contis

    It will be recalled that LJ flew with Aki and Summer, LJ’s 3-year-old daughter with Contis, to New York in August 2021. LJ’s mother and sister live in New York. 

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    Though apart, Paulo says he tries to keep in touch with Aki as much as he could despite the big time difference between New York and Manila. Sometimes, father and son would bond by playing online games together. 

    Co-parenting when miles away

    Co-parenting, especially in Paulo and LJ’s case where both parents are a thousand miles apart, is never easy. 

    The co-parent who lives far can only take advantage of rare moments like what Paulo had with Aki.

    While keeping in touch through video calls can make such situations manageable, there is nothing quite like being physically present and spending quality time with one’s child. 

    How can separated fathers navigate the challenges of co-parenting with a former partner and still build a healthy and secure relationship with his child/ren? 

    RELATED: 'Best Team Ever': Sarah Abad and Jay Contreras Show Us How To Co-Parent

    It all starts with maintaining a good and cordial relationship with your ex, according Help Guide, “The key to successful co-parenting is to separate the personal relationship with your ex from the co-parenting relationship.” 

    The article emphasized on the need for both partners to see beyond their issues and prioritize the well-being of their children. “Your marriage may be over, but your family is not.” 

    Of course, being consistently cordial with an ex may have its challenges but it’s not exactly impossible if co-parenting fathers take note of these tips. 

    5 improvements to make when co-parenting long-distance

    1. Work on improving communication with your ex.

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    When they split in 2013, LJ and Paulo agreed to co-parent Aki and, until this day, the two seemed to have kept a good relationship for the sake of their son. 

    In fact, LJ revealed that at the height of her controversial break-up with Contis, Paulo immediately reached out to her and offered a helping hand should Aki need it.

    “We’re not friends, friends na parang every day nag-uusap, but he’s been there for Aki naman,” LJ told Talk Show host Boy Abunda when the latter was in New York last November 2021. 

    It seems Paulo and LJ have reached that point where they managed to set their differences aside and agreed to put their son’s well-being above everything else. 

    RELATED: LJ Reyes Says She Can't Rush Forgiveness For Ex Paolo Contis

    This mindset has contributed to a conflict-free communication between the two so much so that LJ readily allowed for father-and-son to meet and bond when Paulo was in New York. 

    When communicating with an ex, try to keep the tone business-like, according to Help Guide. “Speak or write to your ex as you would a colleague—with cordiality, respect, and neutrality.” 

    When making request, make sure it is framed like a request rather than a demand: “Would it be okay to bring Ann out for ice cream later?” “Would you be willing to let Jake stay with me until Monday?”

    Another important aspect of communication is listening. “Communicating with maturity starts with listening,” according to the same article.  

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    “Even if you end up disagreeing with the other parent, you should at least be able to convey to your ex that you’ve understood their point of view.”

    2. Keep a consistent schedule.

    If you say you’re going to visit on Saturday, make sure to keep that promise. “Kids thrive on consistency and find themselves anxious when things don’t go according to plan,” according to an article in Very Well Family

    Keeping schedules consistent and regular is something co-parents have to work very hard on. 

    Should conflicts arise, it is important to address this way ahead to avoid not only the blame game but to make the child less anxious that a schedule will not push through. 

    RELATED: How Do You Move On From Heartbreak and Co-Parent With Your Ex?

    3. Keep disagreements private. 

    At some point you are bound to disagree with you ex. It could be over the other’s parenting style, a missed schedule, or a promise to the child that wasn’t fulfilled. 

    Whatever the cause, “deal with it in private and not in front of the kids,” according to Very Well Family

    Avoid putting the children in the middle of your arguments, the article added. “If the children see Mom and Dad as loving and supportive of them (and each other), they will feel more secure.”

    4. Keep your ex informed about your time with the kids.

    When you can, keep your ex updated and share something positive about your time with the kids, says Very Well Family.

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    Maybe your child managed to make a new friend in the park or got a high score in a recent test.  

    Sharing such positive information through text, videos, or photos will make her less anxious that her kids are not with her.

    5. Share in the responsibility of parenting.

    It can’t always be that the fun stuff are left with the Dads while the burden of bringing the child to school, helping out in their homework, and attending to all their extra-curricular activities be left with mom. 

    Co-parenting means you both share the responsibility of raising the child and being involved in both the fun times and the boring activities as well. 

    In the end, you and you ex only want the best for your child. Their security and trust are built around the kind of relationship you are able to show them despite being separated. 

    And, like most relationships, co-parenting should be founded on mutual respect.

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