Hi, I am Hayley - Parent Coach and mamma to 4 beautiful gifts that bring me a constant stream of joy hence the name ‘Mamma in Joy’ ~ Welcome to my blog!
Today I want to look at the timeless issue of raising children in a split parent situation, or as I like to call it ‘co-parenting’.
When I decided to split with my children’s father, my first and main fear was the effect that this was going to have on my children.
What was life going to be like as a single parent?
Were my children going to understand?
Were my children going to hold resentment towards me?
Would this have a long lasting negative impact on them?
I soon realised tthat all my fears were due to the fact that my parents did not have the most amicable of split’s - to say the least! and a
s a result, I was heavily affected in my childhood.
This is the last thing that I wanted for my babies and so I wanted to navigate through the break up as smoothly as possible. I quickly realised that my break up did NOT have to emulate that of my parents and in fact, the power to make it as positive as possible rested solely on their father and me.
This was my starting point and now, as a parent coach, I am here to share with you my four top tips for successful co-parenting!
4 Successful Co-Parenting tips
From the outset, their father and I agreed that the children were our priority. Regardless of any animosity that we may feel towards each other, we did not want it in any way take a negative toll on our babies.
Initially this required a lot of soul searching and patience. Practicing the art of surrender- literally letting emotions flow through you, was a great asset to this part of our split.
Luckily, as our communication channels were kept open, sharing book suggestions and YouTube clips was a great help as it meant that we were always reading from the same sheet.
Next, the setting up of a schedule that we could both rigorously stick to in terms of time spent with the children, was vital. Consistency is a major factor when raising balanced children.
I will be the first to admit that it took a while to settle into a routine that I was truly happy with, as their father was having to become more involved with things that he had previously never dealt with. I will discuss this further in tip 3!
As mentioned before consistency is imperative for happy children. So, ensuring that both parents talk openly about how you wish your children to be raised, so the children receive the same messages whilst spending time in the respective parents homes.
This can include discipline, diet, rules and boundaries. Keeping them all the same between homes, can help children transition more smoothly.
During our time together I was very much the ‘person who ran the house’. I pretty much dealt with all school runs, and after school activities and the general household duties i.e. cooking, laundry etc.
So for their father to suddenly have ing to handle that alone during their time with them him, was going to be a challenge. Initially, it was something that frustrated me as it felt that I was still in the role of a wife and not just a mother.
I had to step back and see the situation from his side and then it became me witnessing the beautiful evolution of a dedicated father! I remember the pride when he called me to tell me that he had just made the children a Sunday roast by himself!! Learning to appreciate these milestones until we were both content with the sharing of time, made the whole process smoother.
As obvious as this sounds, never share or tell your children about any ill feeling you have towards the other parent.
Not all relationship splits are amicable, many far from it. Regardless of any ill feelings you may hold towards the other parent, you must always keep in mind that they are still sacred in your child’s eyes; and there is never a time when it is appropriate to down talk the other parent.
Enjoy my ‘Top 4 Tips for Successful Co-Parenting’
I’m looking forward to sharing a lot more of my experiences with you here on ‘Mamma in Joy’.