Co-parenting is a joint effort. If one parent no longer shares critical information, there’s a problem.
November begins the season of holidays and birthdays in my family. Remembering when the kids were young and Christmas was still a mystery. My son just turned 17 and my daughter will be 15 this month. And to say they are in a period of disconnection would be an understatement. But there’s something more disturbing that’s been happening.
Their mom has been leaving me out of critical parenting discussions.
- Like if my son is allowed to sleep over with his girlfriend.
- Like if he’s been prescribed anti-anxiety medication.
- Like if it’s okay to smoke pot in her house.
I don’t know what else I don’t know, these things were big enough. I only know about them now because of the crisis we went through several weekends ago. And then was not the time to “go into it.” But today I wrote her a letter stating my disappointment and asking to open communication between us back up. There are no excuses for keeping your co-parent out of parenting discussions. If you go it alone you are giving a strong signal to the other parent and the kids that one of you doesn’t matter. I was not considered when these decisions were being made.
As I head into the holidays I hope to recommit to reaching out to both of my kids daily to let them know I am here. I know that when I was in college all I wanted was for my father to see me, to recognize me and what my strengths were. I think I do a good job of affirming both my kids all the time. I am not there as often as I would like but in the time given I show up.
There’s no good way to share that the holidays are a tough time for me. I will be looking after my own health and happiness this season, to assure that no meltdown occurs in my life. But I will also leave some of my bandwidth open for my kids. Letting them know I am here. Letting them know I support them and their ideas.
I hope my ex agrees to co-parent with me again, rather than going rogue. It makes things easier for all of us. Here come the holidays. Do your best to be civil and focus on the logistics rather than the pain between you and your ex.
John McElhenney – life coach austin texas
Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | @wholeparent
Back to Positive Divorce & Co-Parenting:
- The Joy of Divorce and the 3 Gifts of Breaking Up
- The Hero’s Journey of a Divorced Dad
- Focusing On the Other Person is a Trap
- The Spiritual Quest for Love
- The 3 Immutable Laws of Positive Co-Parenting
- The Transcendent Single Father
- The Positive Divorce is Up To You: The Two Levels of Healing
Here are a few of my books on Amazon:
- Single Dad Seeks: Dating Again After Divorce: Advice and Strategies on Learning How to be Loved Again
- Fall of the House of Dad: My journey through divorce, from loss to joy, again and again
- A Good Dad’s Guide to Divorce: One father’s quest to stay connected with his children
- The Sex Index: Getting Our Love Languages Right in the Bedroom
- Here Comes the Darkness: Surviving and Thriving After a Mental Illness Diagnosis
- The Third Glass: When Drinking Becomes an Issue
- The Storm Before the Divorce: When One Parent Wants Out, That’s the End
- Dating 2.0: Aiming for the Love of Your Life
image: father son, creative commons usage