Healthy co-parenting is possible

Last week, I wrote to you about involving your husbands more in hands-on parenting. It is very important. However, I know some of the lovely mums in this community are single parents who literally have had to do it alone. Let me just let you know that you all are the strongest women I know. You are doing the Lord’s work and I commend you for that.

I know you may not want to hear/read this, but you also need to involve your baby Daddy. If he is not a sex offender, he did not abuse you and he did not kill anyone, you need to ensure that he stays in that child’s life. Again, I am not getting anything from this. No husband or baby Daddy made an appeal to me to write to you guys. I am only looking out for your kids. As someone who grew up without my biological mum and had to live in different places growing up, I know that a piece of a child’s life is still missing if they were raised by only one parent. Regardless of how fantastic it was growing up.

I do not imagine that this would be easy. Because there is a reason you are not with that man. So, why should he get to parent the kid when he is not good enough for you?

Now, this is where you will have to look past your pains and anger and focus on your child. Think about your child and concentrate on doing what’s best for him/her.

Set a clear boundary - The interaction between both of you should be centred on your kid. Nothing else. Be professional about it and stick with it.

Sit down and agree on basic things - Set visitation days/time, agree on days that the kid would be with you and the days he/she will be with him. Talk about the values and rules you both want to instill in your child. Agree on the protocol for discipline and other basic things like that. This is so that you are both united in what you teach the kids even when one of you is not there.

Do not put the child in the middle - You both are the ones with the issues. Do not make it your child’s cross to carry. Do not report each other to him/her. Resolve your issues by yourself. And let that kid enjoy the best of the two of you.

Keep a united front always. Especially when it comes to discipline and addressing any issue with your kid. Do not give your child the impression that one of you would side with him/her when they’ve clearly done something wrong.

If it helps, you can both separate the tasks - Especially when it comes to who pays for what? One of you can pay the fees while the other buys school materials.

Always be present for the school events and social activities that have to do with your kid - Let him/her see you both seated in the crowd united and cheering them on.

What else is there? Whatever you do, ensure that your kid is getting the best of both worlds. Do not speak ill of your baby daddy in front of your child and he should not do the same about you while the child is with him.

Keep it level headed. Let’s give the next generation of kids less things to talk about in therapy.

Hopefully when you do all these, you are teaching your kids a very healthy way to solve problems and how to separate the issue from the person.

I love you! You are doing a fantastic job.

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