One of the things I've always found very interesting is that we have adults who are not marreiedand share their child in different households, and that's called co-parenting. I find that to be ironic because the truth is everybody co-parents.
There is this myth that exist in Western culture that parenting is somehow an innate behavior. The truth is we learned to parent from how our parents parented us. We take the sum of our childhood experiences and repeat those experiences with our own children. Now, if your parents were wonderful. loving, kind, supportive, and understood who you were meant to be then that is awesome!Because, you're going to be that same kind of parrot. However if your parents were mean-spirited, cold, unresponsive, neglectful, and vengeful the chances are you are going to raise your children the same way. Tthere are cases where this is not the case; my own father is a Case in point. Just understand that there are always exceptions to the rule.
I will point out this is not a doomsday prediction, it is afgterall why parent coaches exist. Here are some things to remember.
- Every adult has the power to change the way they act, think. and behave; it is a choice.
- This process is difficult because as I said before parenting is a learned behavior which means you have to unlearn some things and relearn others.
- A parent coach is oone professional who can help you beging to navagate the changes you may want to make.
- This is also what makes co-parenting so valuable; because you are not parenting alone you have a partner This partner is a person who is in this with you who wants you to be the best parent you for the sake of your children.
So here's an exercise what emphasizes the most important parts of co-parenting. That is having a clear erstanding of the household your spouse grew up in. I encourage take a day or two and think about the following question and then come together and talk about it.
The best/worst thing about growing up in my house with my parents was...
Here is how I recommend you go through the process.
- When you talk about it the atmosphere is really important. Talk in a quiet plaxce where you both feel safe and cozy. This is probably going to be one of the most intimate conversations you will have in your realtionship.
- Be courteous and really listen, observe body language, and hear the emotions your spouse is feleting as they share about how they grew up. Is it something they want to repeat or is it something they want to change? Sometimes even the things that seemed good did not necessarily felt that way growing up.
- Get really transparent with each other about how you grew up and what your household was really like and then give each other love, comfort, and understanding around those tough issues. Celebragte and laugh about the happy and joyous times.
- After sharing these thoughts and feelings give it a couple of weeks maybe even a month, but then come back together and talk about how you wamt tp raise your family together.
- What are some of the things that you really want to repeat and make a tradition in your own household?
- What are some of the things that you absolutely do not want to repeat, and do not want in your family?
- Talk about these things
- Write them down J
- old each other accountable
- Make a plan to review this at least yearly
I will say it again everybody co-parents. The thing about it, is you could do it wisely by talking it through, offering each other support, and being on the same page. Or you could fight one another never seeing eye to eye on what it means to parent. I would pick the former it us for the best. Good luck!
Believe in Parenting
Want more information ptanda.org