Co-Parenting During Divorce Important
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.