Guest Blog: The Need to Co-Parent
This is a difficult one to get your head round. Once upon a time there was mutual respect, discussion around children's needs and developments. So why does this change post-divorce?!?
My husband and I separated over 6 years ago, are now divorced, and it's taken some time but we now have a co-parenting relationship. We have a shared electronic calendar so I pop all information he needs to be aware of from school newsletters. School meetings, children's activities etc. It means he can’t say he isn’t aware of what is happening. As a divorced mum I have this awful guilt, which hasn't left me since I decided to leave their dad. But when I talk to my boys they seem happy. When I ask them what's good about mummy and daddy having two houses they say: “2 bedrooms, two lots of presents, more holidays and best of all we get time with both mummy and daddy”. I think as adults we put too much pressure on ourselves. If you find yourself as a single parent try thinking in children-mode not adult-mode. We have to centre our considerations, discussions and our agreements on what is best, long-term, for the children. As adults we tend to over think and over-complicate matters. Often, children are strong and more adaptable than we think. But their landscape has changed from what they have known, and they deserve to be at the heart of parental decisions, so that parents’ aim to co-parent together, to enable their children a bright future.
I hear stories where parents find it tricky to co-parent, where one parent has been alienated by the other parent seeking to ‘win’. There are no winners. Divorcing adults must aim to agree to co-parent where practicably possible.
The Divorce Centre was set up to help people deal with the pain of divorce. Through enabling clients to be put in contact with the right kind of professional service advice at the right time, it seeks to help clients gain clarity on their situation, prepare effectively for meetings with lawyers, financial planners, mediators, et al, and to support people through the emotional side of divorce.
The Divorce Centre is committed to supporting divorcing parents to co-parent their children, and runs a program, as well as 1:1 divorce coaching, for parents to help enable this.
Gaining early advice can help clients gain clarity. It can help clients understand fact from interpretation, enabling them to make the process as clear as possible, to deal effectively with now, and move on with to live happy futures. And to have at the heart of this a commitment to co-parenting.
“Co-parenting is the only way that will enable a good outcome for the children. I am committed to that. He is committed to that. I urge anyone facing relationship breakdown, or divorce, where children are involved, to gain help and support on enabling a co-parenting relationship”. Guest Blogger - Emily Buckingham, 35