The Parent Co-Pilot Creed: How to Co-Parent After A Divorce
Even though you’re no longer married, your contact with your spouse does not end. In fact, it is just about to begin. Your old methods of communicating with your ex probably aren’t going to be useful now. I know that you may not want to ever talk to them again. I get it, but for the sake of your children, communication is the key. Your children can still grow up emotionally healthy and well-adjusted. It just takes some effort in your newly reconfigured, redefined family, but it’s going to work. Listen, we all know that being a kid is hard enough; let’s make it a little easier on them.
I have a story to share with you. My son was six at the time, and he had gotten into big trouble in first grade. I don’t remember what he did, but I’m sure it was huge. He’s always been a bit of a joker.
My son’s teacher called, and as soon as I hung up, I called my ex to relay all of the details, and together we came up with an appropriate consequence. Later that day, when his dad picks him up from school. He called me from the car, put me on speakerphone, and together we doled out the punishment. Now my son’s response to deflect his behavior is this. He said,” it’s not fair that you two talk so much. I can’t get away with anything.” At that moment, I knew we were co-parenting right.
Now, as my son advances into his teen years. I am even more grateful that my ex and I did the necessary work to be good co-parents. I wrote the Parent Co-Pilot Creed hoping that these come to mind when you’re in the middle of a conflict. Here they are:
- I will allow my child to love his other parent.
- I will not bring my child into my room.
- I will listen to my child when he or she has something to say.
- I will not ask my child to be the messenger.
- I will never let my child hear me disparage their other parent.
- I will not displace my frustration with my ex onto my child.
- I will not overshare with my child.
- I will never make my child feel bad for enjoying time with the other parent.
- I will support my child’s relationship with stepparents so long as it is appropriate.
- I will let my child just be a kid.
Learn How To Be Good Co-Parents
As a special bonus for reading, if you would like to get your own copy of the Parent Co-pilot Creed, just send me a message with your email address. I’ll be glad to send it right over.
Also, if you haven’t tuned into my new podcast Happy Even After, please check it out.
It’s an unfiltered exploration of all things divorce, including interviews with experts and others who have navigated adversity and have come out on the other side thriving.