“When they go low, we go high.” Michelle Obama
When I wrote my first series on this topic, things were going well with co-parenting and had been for some years. But what happens when there is a change of events, the co-parent is no longer co-parenting or when they play the cat and mouse game when co-parenting? Do you get angry and start to despise that co-parent? 😡
Yes, it is awful that you must pick up the slack and that you, as the main parent, cannot just check out when life happens! The pain that you feel is unbearable. It is as if the co-parent is hurting you and that’s exactly what love for a child feels like. You can literally feel their pain.
In this post, I will share some tips on redirecting your energy and some steps that have helped me not drown in disappointment and regret. This is a series post. If you missed my last post on co-parenting, checkout my post here, The 5 Best Skills for Co-Parenting.
Accepting a situation is vital in moving ahead. There is nothing you can do about the way things are going. You gave it your best. Ultimately when you think about it, the day you decide to bring life into the world is the day the responsibility is all yours. It would be wonderful if the co-parent would play their part, but at the end of the day, you are your children’s protector. So forge ahead and accept what is.
Maybe it will change in the future, but that is not your concern. Your concern will always be acting in a way that supports your child’s development, and if a co-parent is not taking their responsibility of being a parent seriously, maybe that is not the best role model for your children right now. Remember, we are raising whole, emotionally healthy kids. I decided that I will not force co-parenting. Being a good role model is nonnegotiable!
Pour Into Your Children
There may have been a schedule in place for weekends, but that schedule is not being kept. Focus on your kids, which is the reason why you were in contact with the co-parent in the first place. Create new routines with your kids. This is the time that you must pour into them more so than ever. Their normal has been disrupted. They are probably confused and hurting also, even if they do not admit to it.
Find out what hobbies or interests your kids are into like ice skating or recreational sports. This can be your new routine. Create a distraction with an end goal.
Seek Out Counseling
I am an advocate for therapy. If you see that this disruption in your family dynamics is causing issues with your kids, some counseling, either individually or as a family, can help. It is a safe space where each the parent and the child can express their true feelings and get professional advice and strategies. It is healthy to express negative feelings, but we want to get to a place of healing and a professional can help you commit to your intention of moving past negative feelings. Woosah!
Surrendering is not the same as acceptance. Surrendering is more about controlling your energy and letting go. If you do not master this one skill, you will likely find yourself emotionally drained, bitter, broken and sad. When a person is constantly trying to make your life difficult, you must not play their game. Surrender control, move forward with your plans and never waiver in your decision.
Nothing remains the same in life. This too will not last. Hopefully over time, this person can find another individual to manipulate. Until then, surrender. Avoid situations that are purposefully done to cause emotional pain, arguing, or a shift in your energy. Stonewall ’em and keep it moving until you see a real change. This is for your own sanity and happiness.
What other skills would you recommend when co-parenting against resistance? I would love to hear from you down below!
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Health and happiness. . .