When you end your relationship with the other parent it does not end the importance of raising your children as Co-Parents.
A child is not a piece of furniture or the TV that one of you can keep and the other one can just buy a new one. The emotional upheaval of a divorce can cloud your thinking. Feelings of fear, anger, anxiety, and revenge can cause either parent to think that one parent should have the child and the other one needs to leave the child’s life. That is not healthy for your child. Your child needs both parents. Counseling can help you manage your feelings about the end of this relationship with the other parent and hep you separate your feelings over the end of the relationship from your continuing role as a parent.
Focus on being the Best Co-Parent You Can Be
This means not bad mouthing the other parent and not attempting to prevent the other parent from having their parenting time with your child. Both parents need to learn how to treat the other with respect for the sake of their child. A child that has two involved parents do better in school. They do better socially. They do better in their future lives, with selecting their own marital partner and being better parents themselves for your grandkids. Putting aside your adult ego and emotions about the other parent and their flaws will give your child this important opportunity.
Some people feel that they do not ever want to see the other parent and cannot stand the sight of them.
There is nothing worse for a kid than two parents screaming at each other in the McDonald’s parking lot when exchanging the child on Wednesday after-school. If the conflict is so great that you cannot stand to be around them, that is okay. Technology has given us tools to help you communicate with your co-parent without having to see them or speak to them in person. There are apps, online programs, Our Family Wizard, Talking Parents, and We Parent. You can still be capable co-parents by communicating in a firm, friendly way to manage your child’s schedule and reduce the conflict with the other parent with technology’s help.
If you are at that point in your relationship where you cannot be near that person, try some of the online apps and get your own counseling.
If your child needs some counseling to go through this difficult period, get your child counseling as well, however, be sure to notify the other parent first, before you put the child in counseling, because you need to co-parent and you should confirm the other parent agrees. As time goes by, hopefully the co-parenting will get easier and you will both see how your child is thriving and managing in both households.
Co-parenting is something you must work on and needs to be a priority. It does not come naturally. It is a big change. You are one family. You are all in this together. It is challenging, but there are many online tools to help you. The more you can focus on putting aside your own feelings about that other parent and concentrate on how to co-parent in a way that benefits your child, the better your child will be at home, in school and in life.