Divorced & Co-Parenting: Causing Connection or Conflict

Alyssa Johnson

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Co-parenting is a term used to describe divorced parents parenting their children together even though they are in different households. There are MANY ways this can be done. I will not try to tell you how to parent your children. What I will tell you though, is that the more conflict there is between your house and your ex-spouse’s house, the more damage you cause your child. It is in your child’s best interest for you to learn to get along with that other person as best as possible. Now, do I mean you need to be the best of friends? No! Do I mean you should discuss your personal matters with them? No!

Co-parenting basically refers to a business arrangement. You and your ex-spouse are in business together. The business is raising your children. This is what your conversations need to be about. They should NOT be personal. They should NOT be about old marital issues. They should stick to the topic of business, which is the child. Think about business relationships you have at work. You may not like the people you are dealing with, but you act civilly in order to conduct the business at hand. THIS is what I’m referring to.

This can be a tall order. You may have been really hurt by your ex-spouse. They may have done some horrible things and you don’t think they deserve the time of day from you. You know what? You may be right. However, who wins if you continue in a conflictual relationship with them? Do you? Does your spouse? Do your children? (By the way, the answer to all of those questions is “NO!").

Why waste your time and energy fueling a fight with someone you choose to no longer be married to? Why allow them to take up that much of your time, thoughts and energy? Why allow their behaviors to cause you to act in ways that will ultimately harm your children?

I know this is easier said than done. However, for your sake and that of your children, recognize that this person will be a family member for life. If you don’t like that term that’s fine, but realize you are connected to them no matter what. The least you can do for your own sanity is to focus on being able to get along with them. See that you handle your end of the business to the best of your ability.

Visit http://www.Remarriagesuccess.com for more information on how to prepare as a couple and a family for remarriage. For more information on how divorce effects children and ways to protect them, visit http://www.Remarriagesuccess.com/resource.htm and click on the link for the book “Between Two Worlds. " Alyssa Johnson, MSW, LCSW is the founder and CEO of Remarriage Success. She may be reached through her website at http://www.Remarriagesuccess.com where she encourages your feedback and suggestions.


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