- What is Co-Parenting – How to share parenting post separation?
Co-parenting is cooperative parenting where fundamentally clear concise communication is the key and the ones ability to put their emotion aside and commit to raising their children together. Generally speaking co-parenting is required when Marriages/Relationships with children have separated or divorced. Thus parents will move to being co-parents. The first step to successful co-parenting is to make a decision that you choose to create a positive share parenting arrangement for your children who are ultimately at the effect of your separation.
I read this from a parenting website earlier and thought it summed it up well – “Your relationship with your partner might have ended, but you’re both still parents to your children. It’s in your children’s best interests for you to figure out how you can both be involved in their lives”.
You may be familiar with the recent announcement by Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin to consciously uncouple. I was quite alarmed that some people were quite negative about their approach thinking it was fluffy (evidently this was my approach 9 years ago – I just didn’t call it consciously uncoupling, to me it was the only way). Consciously uncoupling is primarily about putting their children first and co-parenting as a united front as opposed to parenting from a battle field and a little he says she says…Their approach is undeniably wise and very noble. Co-parenting is a fairly new term, you may know of the term ‘shared’ parenting. Co-parenting successfully takes a conscious effort and opposes the social norm/mindset that has been to grant custody of a child/ren exclusively to one parent with limited visitation by the other parent. This concept is archaic and potentially dangerous for the overall well-being and development of a child. Granted in some cases this is required, though my cause is for children who come from a home where neglect/violence does not exist. The concept of co-parenting promotes shared parenting, basically speaking each parent would have equal responsibility as a way to protect children and raise them as close to ‘normal’ as possible with care and love from both parents.
Co-parenting takes discipline and commitment to really put your children first. Separation and divorce are never easy times emotionally and can impact you in so many ways; financially is the big kicker, not to mention it can be a massive hit on your self-esteem…That said upon your separation when two people decide to parent in a shared parenting/co-parent manner, the permanency of the pain seems to dissipate sooner through your decision to respond in accordance with your powerful state to parent together as a united front all whilst living separately.
That said, it is never easy though it is absolutely worth it. Just this past Sunday it was (as you know) Mother’s Day. My day started with the obligatory breakfast made by children followed by a stop in for brunch and a board game with their step-mum at their dad’s house, my stepson was dropped off by his mother whilst we were there – there was not one awkward moment, only ease a big sense of family. This can happen (and it wasn’t always easy) because we decided to take the higher road and co-parent effectively putting our children first. I am deeply grateful for the life we have created, my children know no different. I would never wish for them to have a life of bitterness between the two people they love the most. Would you? The HOW is not as tricky as it may seem it is however a commitment.