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Top Coparenting Tips From Top Parenting Coach

Written by: Jennifer Wert, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Though you may not be a couple, if you have a child together, you can always be family. Those who really embrace this paradigm are the most successful co-parents.


Let’s face it. It’s not easy to parent even with a spouse. It takes a ton of communication, sharing and reciprocity. It involves patience, respect and compromise. So, parenting with someone who you’ve chosen not to couple with can be even more challenging.

Me: Please make sure Tate goes to bed on time tonight. She’s had a bunch of late nights in a row.


Tate’s Dad: I got it. I know how to do her bedtime. You don’t need to tell me!


In response to his defensiveness, my skin prickles. I see the pattern. We’ve been down this path so many times before. Instead of texting back to ‘not be so defensive and stop accusing me of being controlling’, I pause to refocus.


Me: I know you got it. It’s not about you, it’s about Tate. This morning she was a complete mess because she’s so exhausted. I just wanted to let you know. Thanks for starting bedtime earlier tonight. I think that’ll really help her.


Tate’s Dad: Will do.


I let out the rest of my breath that I hadn’t realized I was holding.


There are many components and nuances to co-parenting well. The most important thing to do is to frame it in your mind, always, as an opportunity to teach your kiddo and/or to humbly learn something yourself.


Top Tips to Conscious Co-parenting:

  1. Number one is the child. This has to be the focus for you both. Oftentimes it helps to even remind each other of that. The innumerable issues that come into play when making decisions and communicating can distract us. Come back to and reiterate the goal whenever necessary – doing what’s best for your child’s wellbeing. This takes a great deal of adulting on both sides, but as a shared commitment, can take you far.

  2. Whatever issues you have with the other adult have to be set aside. It doesn’t matter if their habits drive you nuts, if you don’t respect their lifestyle, if they continue to not appreciate you. These things can be challenging and hurtful but you’ll need to tend to your feelings about them as a separate task. As far as co-parenting goes, all that matters is your child – and finding a way to work together to best attend to their needs.

  3. Practice clear and continuous communication. I’m sure this won’t be easy (likely one of the reasons you’re not together). However, it’s necessary. Take turns talking and sharing what you observe. Actively listen to each other’s ideas and thoughts, repeating them back to be sure you heard right. And be in touch on a regular basis. Kids are always changing and in response, parenting (as well as co-parenting), must flex to meet them where they are. Remember to share the positive too!

  4. Be aware of how you speak about your child’s other parent. It will backfire to talk poorly about them or even to imply disrespect. It’s an excellent opportunity to teach your child how to discuss others who are different from you, how we treat those we may not get along well with but have to work with. There’s so much learning embedded in this, to be passed along. Be humble, remembering you don’t know it all, and look for it.

  5. You want your child to have a relationship with both of their parents – no matter what. This is important to the family unit being whole (though not intact) versus broken. Their relationship with their other parent is completely separate from yours with your X. It’s theirs to create, unfold and develop. It’s a gift to LET them have it, no matter the roadblocks you know they may face. No doubt, they’ll build resilience finding their way.

You can also get connected to her social media accounts; Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn! Read more from Jennifer!

 

Jennifer Wert, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine Professional Parent Coach, Jenn Wert, serves parents of young children around the globe who are looking for support in their conscious parenting. With a Master’s in Education, educator, and doula experience along with post-graduate social-emotional training, Jenn knows how to counsel parents who want to authentically communicate with their children. After decades of her own therapy, while concurrently working with many different family types, she brings honesty to her conversations and discernment to her listening that allows clients to grow. Jenn inspires parenting that is nurturing, true and transformative.

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