“You don’t have to be in love with your ex to co-parent. You have to be in love with your “children” to co-parent!”
I hate her for what she has done to us! I hate him for what he has done to us! STOP! WAIT! LISTEN! Can I interrupt you for a moment and remind the both of you that your DIVORCE is not only about you but also about your “children” and how they are going to survive it. It is perfectly normal to be angry, hurt and outraged at your spouse for the divorce or separation. However, after you acknowledge your anger and rage at your spouse (and you should), you must take some time to evaluate how your divorce is going to affect your relationship with your children. Your divorce will not only affect you, but will also affect your children in more ways than you can imagine. The good news is that you can help your children through the aftermath of the divorce with something known as co-parenting. You don’t have to be in love with your spouse to co-parent. You have to be in love with your “Children” to co-parent!
Effective co-parenting is a successful strategy that helps in eliminating the tension that comes from knowing where your children are going to sleep, who is going to pick them up at practice and who can attend certain events. The question is, “Are you willing to put your differences aside for your children’s emotional well being?”
What is co-parenting? It’s the coming together of two divorced or separated parents for the sake of your children. The key to co-parenting is to focus on your children—and your children only. Yes, this can be very difficult. It means that your own emotions—any anger, resentment, or hurt—must take a back seat to the needs of your children. Admittedly, setting aside such strong feelings may be the hardest part of learning to work cooperatively with your ex, but it’s also perhaps the most vital. Co-parenting is not about your feelings, or those of your ex-spouse, but rather about your child’s happiness, stability, and future well-being.
For your children’s sake, it is important that you see you relationship with your ex as a new relationship that is only about the well- being of the kids. Your marriage may be over, but your family is not; doing what is best for your kids is your most important priority. The first step to being a mature, responsible co-parent is to always put your children’s needs ahead of your own.
Communication is the key to success in many areas of life. In a divorce where children are involved, it is most important. Your kids need to come first and you need to put them first.
Through your parenting partnership, your kids should recognize that they are more important than the conflict that ended the marriage—and understand that your love for them will prevail despite changing circumstances. Kids whose divorced parents have a cooperative relationship.
Nasty divorces can affect a child’s self esteem and future intimate relationships on so many levels. Make a choice to put your children first and invest in co-parenting.
Dr. Sue Cornbluth is a nationally recognized parenting expert in high conflict parenting situations. She is a regular mental health contributor for an array of networks and television shows such as NBC, FOX and CBS. Dr. Sue has also contributed to several national publications. Her new best-selling book,Building Self Esteem in Children and Teens Who Are Adopted or Fostered is available now. To find out more about her work, please visit Dr. Sue’s website.