One of the biggest struggle of separating parents is co-parenting.
How do you parent together when you no longer want to be together?
The challenge seems to lie in the belief that Co-Parenting is doing things together. Sure, it is a bonus when separated parents can attend functions together, share moments together with the children and be in agreement as to a homogenous way of bringing up the children in two households. Unfortunately, this is often far from everyone’s reality.
When parents are not in harmony about raising their children, co-parenting must be understood, simply, as having an involved place in your children’s lives. Although co-parenting support is great when parents are separated, co-parents are just that: Parents to their children.
If you want as little as possible to do with your co-parent, then get on with your life while accepting that your children have another parent they need to feel close to and be allowed to love and be loved by them.
Co-Parenting in it’s minimal form is about not interfering in your kids other parents role and responsibilities.
So if you are anxious about co-parenting with your ex, consider these simple points:
- You had kids together. You cannot undo that, and before you claim you wish you could do that, it becomes questionable whether you want to undo having met your ex or having your kids.
- Co-Parenting is about being parents to your children. If you can do it together, great. If you can’t, you still both are parents to your children.
- Consider what it is that you are modelling to your children when your co-parenting relationship is unreasonable. After all, parenting is guiding children into acquiring the best manners and attitude to life, right? What does entertaining a bad co-parenting attitude is showing your children?
- There is no conflict with only one person so ask yourself, what are you getting out of staying in a conflicted co-parenting relationship and what is your role in it?
- You cannot control your co-parent, you can only control yourself.
- How is your conflicted co-parenting relationship serving your children?
- Love your children more than you hate your ex.
~ Nadia Thonnard