Child Custody,  Coparenting

Co-Parenting: Putting the Past Where It Belongs

It’s healthy to look back over the past and think about what you did that worked for you and what sucked the life you might have done differently. This probably includes putting the past behind you.

Pic by Ed Donahue at flickr


When it comes to putting the past behind some of you though, you might need to seek professional help one on one. Some of you have had a more difficult time dealing with the ex and have had some pretty bad experiences. I understand that. There is nothing shameful about seeking help from a counselor/therapist or other professional. If it helps you — it helps your child. And that’s the important thing, right?

Starting now, why not make it a goal to co-parent more effectively. Less fighting. Less stress. Less putting the children in the middle. Yes, I know you’re thinking, “But she (he) won’t <fill in the blank>.” You and I both know you can’t control the other person or make them do anything. You can; however, control what you do and how you respond to the other person. If you make changes, chances are it will improve the way the other person acts as well. Even if he/she continues to be a horse’s butt behave in a spiteful manner, your child will experience less animosity and negativity when you refuse to participate in the same old harmful routines from the past.

It’s easy to get caught up in the pushing of buttons from the end of your relationship. After all, you know each other intimately and you know just what to say or do to set the other one off. You’ve gotten use to responding in a certain way. Ways that are probably not in your (or your child’s) best interests. It takes a deep commitment and concentration to move up and out of these ruts. But it can be done. You just have to wait before you respond. Think about how you would normally react and then find a better option. Choose not to get upset. Choose to let the anger go. Choose to ignore any insult. Choose to respond in a positive manner. Hard? Absolutely. But you and your child are both worth it.

The past is just that. The past. It can’t be undone. It can’t be changed. But you have today and you have the future. Do you want more of the same fighting, stress, and hurt? Or do you want to do your part to make things easier on your child? Once you stop re-acting in the same old ways and start finding positive ways to co-parent, you’ll find that you are a much happier person regardless of how your ex responds. Of course if you both make positive changes, think how wonderful it will be for all of you!


Originally published on rhondahopkins.com. This article may have been modified to meet the needs of this site.


*NOTE: Here’s my typical disclaimer for these posts–I am not an attorney. These opinions are mine alone and are based on my years of experience working within the family court system. They are not meant as legal advice nor as representative of anyone else’s opinion. If you need legal advice (and I believe if you’re involved in child custody litigation, you really do),  please consult with an attorney.


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