Let’s start this by saying: Co-parenting is not easy.
putting your pain, assumptions, expectations, reservations and everything else aside, being the bigger person, for your child. You cannot change who you had them with, their parentage, or change the circumstances that made you a single parent but you can make the most of the situation for you child’s sake. They are wonderful little beings who have to deal with their situation even as you deal with being a single parent. It’s our duty to make it work for them.
“How do you share your child with someone who has put you through so much ?
There is no formula but there are a few things to put in mind when going down the co-parenting path.
Co-Parenting Tip #01 : Put your child first, always
Fahali Wawili wakipigana, nyasi huumia.
No matter how old your child is, parental tensions always affect the child’s outcomes. An infant will sense tension and will react accordingly, either by an unusual cry or attachment to a parent. Even as they grow older, these little ones absorb a lot from our emotions, raised voices, aggravated actions, silence, absence and body language. They can also tell if you don’t really want to be around.
Many behavioral problems and sometimes delays in milestone achievement to things like bedwetting can be linked to some kind of discordance at home. So, whatever you do, think of the little amazing human you’re raising, always.
Co-Parenting Tip #02 : Love, above all
It’s very easy to get sucked into the cycle of hate. Loathing the other person so much you constantly feel the need to make them pay for one thing or the other- it doesn’t have to be monetary but it could be by using the child as a bargaining chip. That, really doesn’t come from a place of love.
Remember, that through your interactions, you are teaching your child a great lesson on empathy and love and basic human interaction.
Co-Parenting Tip #03 : Speak kindness
Should you have an unkind word for the other parent, do not speak it in the presence or within ear shot of your child. Actually, don’t speak it at all because walls have ears and those walls will whisper those same things into your child’s ear and you’ll be left wondering who poisoned the well.
Teach your child kindness by showing the same to those who wrong you. That way, when your child is all grown, they will be kind too.
Co-Parenting Tip #04 :Communicate Openly and Freely
Make it a habit to have open, honest conversations with the one’s you co-parent with. Put forward your concerns, plans and everything in between- leave nothing to be inferred. When everything is in the open, it’s harder to court animosity. We are all human and conflict does arise. If we are able to air our problems and hang ups, talk through them, we can find solutions for them.
The rest is up to you and your intuition. It has been said plenty of times that parenting has no manual. You do the best you can at all times and hope for the best. At the end of the day, we all want well adjusted children at every stage of their life and to contribute to a healthy, happy society in future.
Share with us in the comment section below other Co-Parenting Do’s and Don’ts which you are following to minimize conflicts between you and your co-parent.