This week's episode of Parent Tell finds Kaila reminiscing on the less than stellar job her parents did co-parenting after their divorce while listening to Dana (@dana.maree.coaches) talk about her experience with co-parenting three years in. Both Kaila and Dana are children of divorce, so as adults with their own children the importance of having parents who can effectively communicate and at least appear to get along when their children are watching (which hello, is always. Children are never NOT watching you, they're creepy that way) is not lost on these women.
But how do you do that? How do you parent with someone whom you have realized is absolutely not the person for you but has already been named the additional person for your children? You do it by taking that big ole adult ego down a couple notches, and then a few more after that. Because quite honestly a big ego has no place in the co-parenting world and thank goodness for her children, her ex-spouse, and herself, Dana has really figured that bit out. Obviously not as easy as it sounds, but Dana consistently has reminded herself to pick her battles and uphold her boundaries when co-parenting with her children's father, while always keeping in mind the way she felt as a youth when her parents displayed the exact opposite of these healthy co-parenting mechanisms.
Parents naturally want what is best for their children and sometimes what is best is not what the parent experienced when they themselves were young. What we experience as children carries over into our adult life, especially when we become parents to our very own children. It's never going to be perfect for the parents or the children but healthy co-parenting is possible, whether you're a single parent, separated, divorced, or even still very much with the one who helped you create those sweet baby angel children. It's about cooperation and while the kiddos are certainly invited to the co-parenting party, your ego, that prideful voice we all have chanting, "We're number 1! We're number 1!" in our heads, unfortunately needs to remain OFF the guest-list.
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