Some parents have to make parenting work from different addresses. This reality for many families has made a well-worn path of hurt and bitterness between homes. Children who have to live with parents who are at odds with one another experience anxiety and depression at a much younger age than their peers. While this might be alarming, thankfully, there is a way to make co-parenting work for your family in a way that greatly reduces these odds. Single parenting need not be an impossible hurdle to overcome.
There is an assumption that children only need their mothers to live happy and productive lives. This message has permeated both the pro-choice and pro-life circles for far too long. This sets up single mothers for the idea that a father is not necessary for a child’s life so that any decision made regarding her unborn child ought not to involve him. This mindset creates a lack of willingness for the mother to work with the child’s father in a co-parenting relationship. But this does not play out well for anyone in the family. The most successful families work together for the good of the children, no matter what the relationship status the parents have.
Start To Make Coparenting Work For Your Family
The idea of successful co-parenting may sound unlikely to some reading this. With years of strife between mom and dad, is it feasible to think that you can make co-parenting work for your family? Yes, it can.
Successful co-parenting is about letting go of what was and planning together what the future looks like for your children. You can’t move forward if you are not willing to let go of the past. That is much easier to do when you practice forgiveness. Can you sit down with your other parent and talk about what went on between the two of you before that stood in the way of successful co-parenting? We’re not talking about rehashing issues in your relationship. That is over and out. We’re taking a look at what behaviors you both have toward each other that are hindering your ability to make co-parenting work for your family.
If you can’t sit down civilly right now, how about starting with drafting a letter about your intent to put the past behind you and create a new plan for successful co-parenting. Make sure to include a confession of where you went wrong and state your forgiveness for the sins of the other parent. Finish with an invitation to come to the table in peace and discuss what successful co-parenting would look like for the two of you. It takes a lot of humility, a good measure of forgiveness, and a handful of hope to make it happen, but it is worth it. What are you willing to do to make family life healthier for your children and yourself?
The Other Parent Is Not Willing To Make A Coparenting Plan
Sometimes a disconnect that would make co-parenting work for your family is unavoidable. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t improve relations between you and your co-parent that would make your child feel better about the relationship between his or her parents. There are steps you can take to make co-parenting easier on yourself and hopefully prove that co-parenting can be successful in the future for the other side.
You can start with asking for forgiveness for the ills you are responsible for in your relationship. That is one of the best olive branches you can extend in any damaged relationship.
TIP: Keep the focus on you. Don’t bring up the things that the other parent should ask for forgiveness for. When they are ready, they will offer their side. This is about you modeling good behavior and a willingness to work together for the good of your family.
It might feel like asking for forgiveness and not asking for the same in return lets them off the hook. Don’t worry about that. This is about letting bad feelings go and embracing the new. Letting go of bitterness and resentment will help you all, whether they decide to return the favor or not. Have peace that you did your part and let it go. If you want to make co-parenting work for your family, you have to start with what you can change; you.
Help With Coparenting Advice And Parenting Support
ABC Women’s Center is here to support the whole family in the goal to make co-parenting work for your family. We offer support for parents with parenting classes, as well as support for dad through our new men’s ministry. Contact us today to find out more about how ABC works to support all aspects of the family.