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 sleepover 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 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 much of 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 on all of us.
As a certified life coach, I’ve been helping men and women find fulfilling life after divorce. If you’d like to chat for 30-minutes about your dating/relationship challenges, I always give the first 30-session away for free. LEARN ABOUT COACHING WITH JOHN. There are no obligations to continue. But I get excited every time I talk to someone new. I can offer new perspectives and experiences from my post-divorce journey. Most of all, I can offer hope.
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
image: father son, creative commons usage