We are a married couple who never thought we would become one of the statistics of divorce. Now, here we are, unable to work it out and in the process of getting a divorce. Though it isn't easy, we are doing our best to separate amicably. Our biggest concern is coordinating parenting for the sake of our children. How do we coordinate parenting so that we raise them feeling secure, loved, and not vulnerable to the risks of being raised in a broken family.
Coordinating parenting is essential to caring for children in a divorcing family, and so I am glad to hear that they are your greatest concern. Even if your children are teenagers, they are powerless over your divorce. They may not always show it, but they are absolutely relying on you to keep them feeling secure and loved.
Coordinating parenting is an exercise in keeping the children's needs first and foremost in your minds, making distinctions between their needs and wants, and making coordinated parenting decisions accordingly.
Your goal, as coordinating parents, is to work as a team even if you are living separately. It is essential to have two parents who are able to sit down and speak with each other respectfully and listen mindfully.
With that in mind, one possible starting point is for the two of you to sit down and brainstorm about what it means to feel secure and loved as a child. Make a list of what you feel it means to feel secure and loved.
Think of what you had in your family of origin that made you feel secure and loved. Depending on your family of origin, you may also consider what made you feel insecure and unloved. Brainstorm ways that each of you can best communicate this to your child through everyday experiences.
Think of the short-term. With the kids in mind, what are some scenarios for transitioning from life together to life apart? What are some scenarios and guidelines for sharing the children? There will likely be a long list of considerations.
It is important to consider some things that may stand in the way of your being able to
work well together.
If you would like to continue discussing this, please reflect upon the highlighted sections in your response.
Lauren Trecosta, LPC
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