Co-Par­ent­ing Dur­ing Di­vorce Im­por­tant

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - COMMUNITY - Car­rie Nick­els WCEL Colum­nist

Chil­dren and Di­vorce

Part 2 Di­vorce is not easy and there is a great deal of emo­tion, anger, hurt, sad­ness, but you can still co-par­ent with the other party be­cause this is what is best for your chil­dren. Co-par­ent­ing is not about you or your ex – it is about the health and well-be­ing of chil­dren. Not all di­vorces are the same and some­times it is the best de­ci­sion for one par­ent to exit the life of a child, but this is not the typ­i­cal sit­u­a­tion.

If a mother and fa­ther, after a di­vorce, fo­cus on the blame and the fault or the money is­sue then they are not co-par­ent­ing. If they fo­cus on the pa­pers or le­gal doc­u­ments more than their child or chil­dren, they are not co-par­ent­ing. If you are not able to be flex­i­ble and de­velop an em­pa­thy for your ex-spouse, you are not co-par­ent­ing. Di­vorce is not about win­ning be­cause there is noth­ing to win in dev­as­ta­tion and pain.

Co-par­ent­ing is not about you and it is not about your ex. To be gen­uinely clear if you are work­ing with a me­di­a­tor about co-par­ent­ing, they don’t care so much about the rea­sons for di­vorce, what hap­pened be­tween you and your ex in the past or if they are dat­ing and whether you like them or not. Co-par­ent­ing fo­cuses on what is best for your child and how we are go­ing to learn to work to­gether to men­tally and phys­i­cal sup­port and par­ent your child or chil­dren. To some ex­tent co-par­ent­ing is a non-emo­tional, busi­ness-style re­la­tion­ship with your ex-spouse. You want to de­velop plans and make de­ci­sions in the best in­ter­est of the child or chil­dren.

Co-par­ent­ing is the part of the di­vorce in which the cheat­ing or the hurt dis­ap­pears. The child is the client, to be quite hon­est. The hope with co-par­ent­ing is that the par­ents can learn to be civil enough so they can par­ent their child or chil­dren and the chil­dren do not end up deal­ing with trauma from their child­hood. For ex­am­ple, you don’t want your child to have a panic at­tack won­der­ing if both par­ents show up at a soc­cer game or a ma­jor event such as grad­u­a­tion.

I also will ad­vise that if par­ents are not able to co-par­ent and work to­gether as a team then you run the risk of hav­ing a child that turns 18 and runs away from you and your ex as fast and as far away as pos­si­ble so that they can de­com­press and get away from the stress, ten­sions and hurt they have ex­pe­ri­enced dur­ing their child­hood.

Co-par­ent­ing is not about you and it is not about your ex.

CAR­RIE NICKLES, LPC, IS A FOR­MER COUN­SELOR WITH OZARK GUID­ANCE AND IS SEE­ING PA­TIENTS TUES­DAYS AND THURS­DAYS AT PRAIRIE GROVE HEALTH AND WELL­NESS CEN­TER. CON­TACT HER AT CAR­RIE.NICKLES@GMAIL.COM.

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