The marriage didn’t work. Yet he’s committed that co-parenting does. Allana Pratt, Intimacy Expert has some Do’s & Don’t’s to create more ease…
Question: My wife and I recently divorced. What advice do you have for making co-parenting our 3 kids easier and effective for both of us? Are there any do’s and don’ts?
Answer: Stunning question. Many are obvious on a logical level and yet challenging on an emotional level. Let’s begin:
- DO tell the kids it’s not their fault. And make sure it lands… even if it takes repetition. Certainly don’t tell them the minute details, yet I believe it’s totally appropriate to say that you have different priorities or values now, and that you still care for each other, yet no longer love each other the way a couple does. You believe that it’s kind to set each other free to have that special romantic love while being friends and coparents. Most importantly tell them you both VALUE them more now than ever and that making their lives awesome is as much a priority now as ever. See if you can even find some pro’s to there being two homes or living apart… shifting perspective to what’s ‘right’ about this.
- DO allow your kids to have their feelings. It’s normal to be sad, frustrated, feel in the middle and unsure of how to be… please just listen and don’t fix. Let it be OK to sit in your own fire and witness their emotional journey without blaming yourself or trying to change them.
- DO get support for you. Carpool, join a men’s group, get a coach like me, ask family to babysit so you have a night to yourself. If you’re kids are old enough, start giving them chores or you’re going to be run ragged and then you’ll lose your patience, playfulness and grounded nature.
- DON’T bad mouth the other parent. This is totally obvious, and yet when you hear for example she’s getting dating a friend of yours or she feeds them something that makes you grow another arm… see if you can breathe and not react. I honestly think this is next to impossible… because our kids are so perceptive, yet if you can keep it to a minimum it allows the kids to navigate their own sense of right and wrong, rather than have to chose sides or loyalty.
- DON’T push away or ignore your own feelings or you’ll get impatient, cranky and snap at your kids or colleague. And it won’t make you very sexy :). Take the time to make your emotional healing a priority so you can glean the good from this part of your life journey.
- DON’T date too quickly. Often we want to fill the void in our life, squelch out the pain of loneliness, feel wanted instead of being rejected abandoned or betrayed. Yet getting a partner as a reaction to the divorce is different than choosing a partner from centered peace. Likewise, don’t only focus on work and parenting and shut down your heart until they leave for college. When working with a coach like me, you will not only heal your heart, gain the wisdom from this phase of your journey, learn how to thrive rather than survive, you will also know the sweet spot when you’re ready to open your heart to healthy hot intimate partnership again.
Lastly, the ideal of course is to coparent, get along, provide a more peaceful environment for the kids than when together, and for each of you to be your best selves. And while my advice is meant to help you do that… the truth is sometimes only one partner feels like being conscious and the other parent really takes a tail spin into victimhood, blame, abusive games, atrocious unkindness and debilitating court battles. This takes a whole deeper level of conscious living on your part that may take everything you’ve got not to get triggered, take the bait and destroy your health, wealth and sanity.
The foundational skills required to excel at these Do’s & Don’ts plus the courage to navigate uncertainty and the unknown while becoming and thriving as a noble badass are found in my www.GetHerToSayYes.com report and video series.
And honestly, the deep work required for a really nasty divorce or ineffective co-parenting situation require coaching as well. It doesn’t seem this is the issue for you, which is TOTALLY awesome and please remember to praise and appreciate your children’s mother for her cooperative kindness and communication! Basically when Papa’s Happy, Everybody’s Happy and when Mama’s Happy, Everybody’s Happy.
And if you’re reading this and your situation is driving you crazy to the detriment of your parenting, work and relationships… and you’re a 10 our of 10 ready to handle this, I invite you to email my [email protected] Subject line: GMP sent me and I’ll wave my Strategy Session fee and provide a complementary session to discover if we’re a match to guide you through this challenge to freedom, peace, success AND healthy love. If I’m not the right fit, I will find you who is… pain is temporary, yet suffering is eternal and YOU are the only one who can change that with your choice to get qualified support.
Lastly, even through some real crappy things have gone down in my divorce/custody battle… my son is coming out the other side stronger, happier, more aware, savvy and alive than I could ever imagine. Lets let go of the belief that divorce destroys kids. Yes, it certainly can. Yet it can also create a diamond from the pressure. YOU being the healthy example of that butterfly flying free of the cocoon, is a huge key to their success.
Great love, endless blessings, Allana xox