Co-Parenting After Divorce
I was listening to a radio interview the other day with a certain famous 40 something year old man. It was quite interesting but the thing that caught my attention the most and that I have not forgotten since was when he was asked about the most difficult time in his life.
This man had lost his mother a couple of years ago. They were very close and he missed her dearly so I naturally assumed that the death of his mother would indeed be the most difficult time of his life, but it wasn’t.
It was his parents’ divorce when he was 11 years old! It was a nasty divorce that left him feeling angry, alond and abandoned as his parents fought it out.
He remembered his father not turning up to pick him up for the day and when he did, there was so much fighting and arguing that he would just return to his room until they were done.
The transitions between the homes was such a nightmare for him that he found himself wishing that he didn’t have to see his father ever again if it meant that it would eliminate the horrible anxiety that constantly sat in his belly that was fuelled by the fear that there was going to be a vicious verbal fight when he arrived.
He was well aware that his mother didn’t make things easier by doing little things that she knew would infuriate his father. And each time, his father would rise to the occasion. It was a horrible dance.
Co-parenting after divorce or separation needn’t be hell. No. It may not be easy but it needn’t be hellish.
I’m not going to create a tip sheet for you on what to do to be successful in your co-parenting arrangement because no matter what I or anyone else says, the one thing that you need to constantly keep in mind is your child. That’s it.
If you, as the parent and adult, find yourself getting angry and emotional think what it might be doing to your child; same emotion, little body.
Co-parenting is such a wonderful thing. It’s not about scoring points and working a way to hurt or annoy the other parent. You can do that in other ways if you must without using your child as ammunition or holding him/her hostage.
When you send your child to the other parent in dirty clothes, drop him/her off late what do you imagine he/she is feeling knowing that it won’t go down well with the other parent? Most likely than not anxiety is begins to build within him. And why? Because you have your own agenda that’s why. You’re child is not your priority at that time, you are.
Keep in mind that there is a physical reaction to every emotion and in a situation such as this, the physical reaction is not a positive one and you are the cause. Sorry to sound so harsh but that’s a fact.
Joint custody can be hard. It can be extremely challenging especially where you have a very unreasonable parent to work with. What I say to this is do your bit. Play your role as the supportive parent that you want to be. Have a support system where you can take your emotions, thoughts, anxieties and fears.
Your marriage might be over yes, but your family isn’t, it has transformed, changed and it’s time to adjust to that and play along nicely.
If you are having trouble with co-parenting, be it how to get it right for you family or how to support your children, then please do get in touch with a complimentary session. Email me firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 07973 893 282.
Watch this video to hear it from the children’s perspective - http://www.soila.co.uk/you-and-your-children/
Here’s a brilliant book and link for more co-parenting information, help and advice - http://co-parenting101.org/