When couples with children divorce it becomes necessary for the parents to consciously redefine their relationship as it relates to the continued parenting of their children. Couples may choose to end their marital connection, but the parenting connection continues. It is vital to the health and well being of your children to step into your new role as conscious co-parents.
It requires a conscious effort to redesign or transform the marital relationship to one that focuses only on co-parenting. Without this conscious effort co-parenting relationships tend to evolve out of the conflict and negativity of the ending marriage. As a result, children are absorbing the stress of intense parental conflict when they should be absorbing gentle parental nurturing. When parents bring their children into their differences it is called parental Alienation. There are varying degrees of severity. There is conscious and unconscious parental alienation. The continued inappropriate behavior of the parents will cause parental alienation syndrome in the children.
Marital / committed relationships imply intimacy. As relationships break down the intimacy proceeds from positive to negative intimacy, unless there is a conscious effort to redefine the co-parenting relationship. Redefining the relationship requires that parents learn to consistently
1) Separate personal issues from parenting issues
2) Establish new boundaries.
3) Learn how to effectively communicate with each other by putting the children’s needs first.
The former husband and wife or committed couple now only interacts in the best interest of the children. The quality of those interactions highly affects the emotional security and well being of the children, as well as, their relationship with each parent. Healthy Conscious Co-parenting is a difficult but necessary task, thus the continued reference to it requiring a conscious effort. Parents are being asked to accomplish an “emotional contradiction”. Possibly the most intense, highly conflict, negative experience in ones lifetime is that of the divorce experience. Then, to request that parents peacefully co-parent is truly an emotional contradiction. Developing a productive and conscious co-parenting relationship often requires outside help such as classes, counseling, or coaching or all of the above. It clearly requires, of the parents, a shift in their perception of each other.
Messages sent to divorced families have much to do with the negative experience parents and children encounter. The court system, religions, the mindset of family and friends, and the overall mindset toward the traditional family in many subtle ways lead parents and children of divorce to perceive themselves as inadequate, not whole, and generally not ok. Given the fact that over 50% marriages end up in divorce, it is vital to the well being of our children and to the future of the next generation of families to shift our limiting beliefs about family.
IT IS OK TO BE A DIVORCED FAMILY. It is OK if a child has two dads and one mom or two moms and two dads. What isn’t OK is if conflict, deceit, manipulation, and anger are a continuous part of the parental interaction. When the co-parenting interactions prevent a child from a nurturing relationship with each parent, then, that co-parenting relationship needs to be consciously redefined.
Divorced parents have the right and responsibility to live and view themselves as whole and adequate human beings who have within them the power and ability to provide nurturing environments for their children.
Conscious Co-Parenting Institute
Moving Divorced Families From Divided To United!