I recently got my hands on a book I've been wanting to read: Co-Parenting 101: Helping Your Kids Thrive In Two Households After Divorce, and I wanted to share a big thumbs-up recommendation.
Peter and I have been co-parenting for a while through our separation, and I wish I had gotten this book sooner. There's a lot here that's just plain common sense (what's that old saying - "Common sense is an uncommon thing") but I also found some pointers and information that really hit home with me.
The first and most basic tenet of co-parenting covered in the book is the one nearest and dearest to my heart: Put your kids first. Both of you. Look at everything through their eyes and weigh every decision with how this will affect them both short and long-term. Again, this should be common sense, but when you're dealing with anger and bitterness and grief and financial pressure, it's not always easy to remember.
The book is divided into three sections:
Divorce 101 - deals with setting ground rules, dealing with grief and ing lawyers and mediators,
Co-Parenting Basics - discusses co-parenting styles, do's and don't's, logistics, parenting plans, house rules, and has a special section for non-married or non-custodial parents.
But You Don't Know My Ex - delves into difficult exes, blended families and other issues that make co-parenting an emotional or legal challenge.
I have a lot of take-aways from this book, but one chapter heading really hit me right between the eyes:
It's Not A Competition If You're On The Same Team.
Amen. It's so easy to get bogged down in all the stuff they do or don't do at his house, or the way he said what he said or did what he did or how all this is going to wreck whatever plan you thought you had for your life and the life of your kids. Erma Bombeck once said that she used to look at parenting as a true or false test, and then one day she realized it was really an essay - an endless essay. Co-parenting is just an extension of that, and you have to realize that your co-author is writing on the same theme, even if they're using a different color ink than you or their handwriting isn't as neat as you'd like it to be.
Do you have any good co-parenting resources you'd like to recommend?
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