Hey! Hey! Hey! Sweeteners, whew hunty let’s talk about this beautiful but sometimes ugly world of co-parenting. Yes, I said co-parenting. This is one of the most difficult things to do when both parents are not on the same page. Those precious children have to suffer when both parents can not put themselves to the side long enough (click link for tips to healthy healing) to focus on what’s important. It is imperative that we have effective ways to coparent regardless of the personal relationship. Now I know there are exceptions where it is just impossible in that moment to positively co-parent with the other parent, but in those it is important to pray because God says “with man it is impossible, but with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).” If we can hold on to that promise and believe that one day that person will come around as a parent or God will bring someone else to fill that role if He sees fit, then we should have peace about the disconnect.
When we have children, we are given no manual with how we are to raise them. It is not always planned out how we would like but we must have effective ways to coparent. Normally there is no plan in place if the parents choose to go their separate ways in the future. We are left to kind of wing it and hope that we can be on the same page despite high emotions and that my dear sweeteners is a set up for challenging times, trust ya girl knows. So, what makes this part of life so challenging and why do so many children suffer because of the immaturity of the parents? I believe because there is no plan in place and selfishness has set in. It is easier for someone who goes into a parenting situation with a plan or understanding of what to expect to coparent, but oh those without that can be a different story if not maneuvered properly.
I have been a mother since I was 16 so I am very familiar with the coparenting lifestyle. It has not always been easy but through the years I have seen what has worked for us and what has not worked for us. There have been times where we can get it right and it flows and there have been times where we barely can stand to look at each other and can’t have a decent conversation. Below I share a few things that I have learned over the last decade when it comes to coparenting.
Here are some effective ways to coparent.
- Understanding that the other parent is not you nor are they an extension of you – keeping this at the front of our mind helps us to see this person as an individual with their own thoughts and beliefs
- Respect the differences in parenting styles- none of us know it all and none of us have the right answer all the time. When it comes to parenting children need a healthy balance of both parents, beliefs and opinions. Understandable if the parent is toxic or a danger to the child that one may protect their child, but in normal instances where there are differences respect goes a long way
- Open Communication is Key- Sometimes it can be difficult to communicate with the parent on different subjects for various reasons. There are many different situations where it may difficult to communicate or you cannot communicate, but in those situations we have to remain grounded and keep in mind that the child is the most important in the situation and separate the personal relationship from the parenting relationship. Sometimes I have not always liked my children’s father personally but I did my best to not distort my view of seeing them as a parent (oh it was hard, Lawd it was hard). However, by removing my personal feelings I was able to see them through the eyes of my child along with my eyes as a protector of my child’s mental and emotional state, if those weren’t in danger I had no right to be in my feelings I believed.
- Being a Team Player- On teams we don’t always like the people we are on the team with however because we are both working towards the common goal then that alone makes us allies. We are able to cooperate with them to accomplish the greater goal, which is to raise emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and financially secure individuals.
I know it is not always easy and some days are better than others but keep pressing towards the mark of a better co-parenting relationship and eventually better will come. We must remain positive and always find effective ways to coparent. We are not in control of others; we can only govern ourselves accordingly. I’m a firm believer of “Lead by example,” if we are showing our maturity, I believe the other parent will eventually follow suite. If they do not adjust or peace is unable to be established then pray, trust God, and be proud of yourself for being the bigger person knowing that God will make all things new.