SECRET #1 – LET GO OF THE PAST!
Whether you were the “leaver” or the “leavee”, you must process the ending of the relationship and work on moving forward. It is a process as you come to grips with your “new reality”.
Although your separation, divorce, or breakup may be a life-changing event, it still requires a relationship/partnership between the parents.
SECRET #2 – BE A GOOD ROLE MODEL TO YOUR CHILD
Yes, that’s right! Your children get their cues from you. They are watching Mommy and Daddy. By your actions, or reactions, they are learning how to handle conflict, disappointment, and tense moments. As co-parents, your ability to navigate through life’s challenges, twists and unexpected turns is essential in teaching your children basic skills for life.
SECRET #3 – CO-PARENTING IS NOT A COMPETITIVE SPORT
If you view Co-Parenting as a competition, your children will never be positioned to be the “Winners”. Recognize the danger of competing with your co-parent. Resist the urge to compete against your co-parent for your children’s love, approval, and affection. When a co-parent attempts to create reasons for the child to prefer him/her over the other parent, it alienates that parent and often tempts them to compete as well.
Recognize the danger of competing with your co-parent. If you view Co-Parenting as a competition, your children will never be positioned to be the "Winners".
SECRET #4 – THE POWER OF FORGIVENESS
There is power in forgiveness! Forgiving your “Ex” and forgiving yourself is crucial in the co- parenting experience. According to Forgiveness Expert, Dr. Fred Luskin, in his book, Forgive For Good, he writes, “Forgiveness is not a focus on what happened in the past, neither is it remaining upset or holding onto grudges. You may have been hurt in the past, but you are upset today.
Both forgiveness and grievances are experiences that you have in the present.” When co-parents are able to operate in forgiveness, it opens the door for future healthy relationships and a “healthier you”.
SECRET #5 – THE COMMUNICATION FACTOR
Communication is important! Everyday your words, actions, and attitudes impact your child. It is a fact, your child’s emotional well-being and adjustment depends greatly upon how well you and your co-parent are able to communicate. How are you communicating with your co- parent? Are you practicing using “I” messages and avoiding “you” messages?
SECRET #6 – C0-PARENTING IS A PROCESS
Co-Parenting requires work! After all, you are in this for the long haul. Your children are worth it! Children feel more secure when their parents are able to maintain a co-parenting partnership. Remember, you and your co-parent don’t have to be best friends, you don’t even have to necessarily like each other, but your ability and commitment to work together is vital to your children’s overall well-being. Stay on track by remembering you will always be co- parents regardless of the age of your children.
SECRET # 7 – THE CONTROL FACTOR
It helps the entire situation when co-parents realize that the only person you have “complete” control over is yourself. Also, at the same time, remember you should not give anyone permission to make you feel inferior. When a co-parent tries to control the other parent, it is wasted energy! That energy can be put to better use! (raising healthy and happy children).
SECRET #8 – THE RELATIONSHIP FACTOR
Regardless of how you “act”, it’s not going to change the other person. So, realizing that we cannot change people is important. It’s also important to remember, all it takes is just one parent to change their way of thinking and acting, the conflict almost always ends.
Regardless of the reason, be it an emotional or psychological issue or maybe both, the chronic anger, distrust, and continuing conflict can easily become (entrenched) in the post-divorce or break-up relationship. Thus, this cycle can last forever!
SECRET #9 – CO-PARENTING REQUIRES STRATEGY
Having a plan is always recommended when in a co-parenting relationship. As you are faced with the daily situations in raising your child, it’s important to have a plan that involves mutual respect, as well as understanding and attempting to see the situation from the other parent’s perspective. In addition, the ability to problem solve and negotiate are essential to effectively handling everyday experiences that occur when raising children.
SECRET #10 – CO-PARENTING REQUIRES CREATIVITY
When all else fails, use your creativity! This means using the power of “out of the box” thinking, anticipating problems before they occur, and making intelligent choices & decisions. If you find yourself in the “stuck” mode as you navigate through the Co-Parenting Experience, you may find it necessary to explore seeking assistance. Coaching or Consulting may be a wise decision in an effort to improve your overall co-parenting relationship.
Consider the Co-Parenting Bootcamp which is a uniquely designed course for co-parents who need assistance in successfully co-parenting their children due to lingering or ongoing mid-to-high level conflict. The goal of this course is to improve parenting relationships by reducing conflict and improving communication, ultimately improving the overall well-being of your children involved.
SECRET #11 – NEW TRANSITIONS
Speak to your Co-Parent about a new transition before you discuss it with your child is best practice so that your co-parent can be aware and assist your child with the transition. Remember, children need time adjust to new transitions.
SECRET #12 – THE VALUE OF RELATIONSHIPS
Evaluate your ability to inspire and influence, communicate, and resolve conflict. Maintaining open lines of communication aids in forming healthy relationships and recognizing the signs of unhealthy relationships. Prevent problems before they start.
Dollnita is a Certified Parent Coach, offering heart-based tools to improve the parent / child relationship.