Empathetic parenting,  Parenting

Fuck You, But, The Kids Need New Shoes

Alrighty then. Lets just rip the lid off this one and dive right in shall we.

Co-parenting with someone you, well, put it this way. Fuck you.

This word co-parenting usually is used once a couple separate. However, co-parenting is really something that is to be impressed upon all parents or guardians. Together or not, sometimes we really do not like the other party.

Let me start by sharing an extract from the current legislation printed on the New Zealand’s Ministry Of Justice website.

(c) a child’s care, development, and upbringing should be facilitated by ongoing consultation and co-operation between his or her parents, guardians, and any other person having a role in his or her care under a parenting or guardianship order:

extract from:Section 5: replaced, on 31 March 2014, by section 4 of the Care of Children Amendment Act (No 2) 2013 (2013 No 74).

When we are in times of conflict, it is really easy to decide that you are the one who owns the child. They are mine. Everyone else can seriously just fuck off. I will parent as I choose.

It’s really easy to dismiss the other parent based on the behaviour we have judged to be inappropriate, not good enough and basically labelled them as a ‘bad mum’, or ‘bad dad’. Especially if you have experienced domestic violence coupled with betrayals of other natures.

But let me tell you right now. If you look that child in the eyes, see inside their soul, feel into their hearts and glimpse inside their minds, you would likely come to realise the following

  • My biggest fear is being abandoned by either of you. I need you both
  • I don’t like the way you stop me from seeing my parent because I don’t understand safety. This is your fault.
  • I feel like I am betraying you both and that feeling leaves me in a state of despair
  • I love them. Nothing they do can make me stop. Accept that.
  • I’m sorry you are hurting, it hurts me that you are hurting, but it hurts me when they are hurting too. I hurt for all of us and I’m too little to know how to process this.
  • I don’t have hope or faith yet, I don’t know how or when this is going to get better. I need you to make this structured for me.
  • I’m scared to say how I feel in case it upsets you
  • The more you fight, the more I hurt
  • I’m so confused, its like you are getting back together and I feel happy and then boom, you aren’t again. I hate this limbo you make me live in.
  • I need to know when I will see them next. Time is different for me
  • Get support please. I need you to be stable for me. I cant be the parent
  • I don’t want to be a visitor with my parents. I want to belong in both houses
  • Please get up. Please laugh. Please come back to me.
  • I don’t know what I am and am not allowed to repeat. So I just can’t talk.
  • Please let me adjust before trying to make me like the new person and/or the new kids. My world just fell apart, not just yours.

During the times of chaos, our biggest gift in parenting is the connection with our children. When we are connecting with them, seeing into them, feeling them, we are hearing their words without them speaking. And when that lands through the connection, we are able to take a deep breath and take steps that lead towards structure, co-operation and healthy co-parenting.

This is heart based action, and it can never be wrong. The longer we remain in ego based decision making, the longer we are harming ourselves and our children. It is not our right to make up rules about raising children that are against the law. The law, albeit logical, is there to protect our children.

So whats some tips to move yourself from ego to heart and in the meantime protect your family from ego based decisions? Here’s a few to start with

  • If possible, go to a parenting through separation specialist at the first signs of possible separation
  • Seek support from a coach who specialises in self love, parenting or ideally both
  • Make agreements about parenting with yourself when you are in a heart spaced mood. Place this somewhere you can see to hold yourself accountable
  • Put yourself in your child’s shoes as a reminder that this is not easy for them either
  • If there are safety concerns and you can not agree to a solution, seek support. Professional support
  • If speaking with friends is your way of coping, ensure you can do this out of earshot of your child
  • Make your bed every day
  • Set up a structure for your children so they can see when they will see the other parent in advance. If the other party does not have structured times but wishes to be involved, seek support to have this enforced sooner rather than later
  • If you are already involved with another party, keep that as adult business until your child has grieved and transitioned to 2 seperate homes
  • Don’t argue about money. Take what’s offered and find another way to top up your finances.
  • Journal your feelings about the other parent so you can seek to create space to allow peace to enter your thoughts
  • Remind yourself of the fact the other party loves your child. Remember the love they gave them and focus on that rather than the things they are not doing up to standard now.
  • Never cut the other parent off unless professionally advised to by more than one professional. Leave the parenting door open for them.
  • Child support doesn’t buy children. Just because someone doesn’t contribute financially, does not mean they aren’t allowed time.
  • Create a morning ritual with your child, even if its 2 minutes and 1 thing. It creates connection.
  • Cuddle. Be affectionate with your children so when you don’t have the words to say you have the touch
  • Practice empathetic parenting
  • Practice self love

If you have other suggestions I would love to hear the, and like always, if you need support during a time like this contact me for a free chat about your current situation.

(e) a child should continue to have a relationship with both of his or her parents, and that a child’s relationship with his or her family group, whānau, hapū, or iwi should be preserved and strengthened

extract from:Section 5: replaced, on 31 March 2014, by section 4 of the Care of Children Amendment Act (No 2) 2013 (2013 No 74).
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