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Entries in divorce (20)


"What I Wish My Co-Parents Had Known": A New Series

One of the most common comments we receive about this site and our book is from adults who say, "I wish this had been around when my parents were breaking up."  We believe that kids and adults who are (were) co-parented are the real experts on how co-parents can help their children thrive after a break-up.  So below is the first in a series of blog posts from the point of view of teens and adults who were/are co-parented or raised by single parents.  In this series, we invite guest bloggers and interviewees to reflect on their experiences being raised by co-parents or a single parent.  

We hope that this process of reflection will be meaningful and beneficial to the participants and also encouraging, instructive, or otherwise helpful for the co-parents and stepparents who visit our site. 

Our first interviewee is C.

1. If your parents co-parented you during all or part of your childhood, what are 3 words you would use to describe their co-parenting arrangement?  They winged it.

2. What is one thing you wish your parent or parents knew about your life after they divorced or split up?  How the depth of their choices would affect me and my siblings.

3. What is one memory you have of the time not long after your parents divorced or split up?  My mom immediately dating again.

4. What is (was) the most helpful thing your parent or co-parent has done (did) to help you deal with living between two households or with any other aspect of the break-up?  My parents were the best example of what I wouldn't do when it came to parenting and how I've handled co-parenting now.  

5. What was (or is) the most challenging part of being raised by co-parents or by a single parent?  When being co-parented, the back and forth between my parents.  My mom was hell-bent on making my dad the bad guy in everything.  

As a single parent now, it would be distance.  Me and my ex-husband co-parent from different states because of military obligations.

6. Many people have misconceptions about divorce parents and single parents.  What are some things you wish more people understood about your co-parents, about the parent who raised you primarily, and/or about the parent who did not raise you primarily?  Being divorced doesn't have to be a crippling experience if both parents put the kid's needs first and never lose focus of that fact it could be a easy experience.  

7. If you were a co-parent, what would you do to help your kids deal with living between 2 households?  For me, we handle major things as a family even though we aren't together.  When he comes into town he stays at my home so that the kids have a family unit under one roof.  This includes the kids he's had since our divorce.  We take family vacations together with my new spouse and his fiance, along with our extended family.  We've built a village and the support system is amazing for, not just the kids we share, but for the ones he's had since our divorce.

8.  If you are now a parent or co-parent, how has your childhood experience influenced how you raise your child and/or how you interact with your child's other parent?  I communicate with my kids about everything that can or does affect them when it comes to family.  Their needs are #1, period.  I allow them to voice their opinions on all issues, letting them know we value them.  I'm not a "do as I say not as I do" mother.  I'm their example, and I want to be a source of positivity in their lives, not just because I'm mom, but because they know they matter.  

My ex and I both had difficult situations after our parents divorced, and we never wanted our issues to become [our kids'] issues. They never knew why we divorced until a year ago, when my youngest turned 18.  They saw two parents who did things together with them always. They told me they always thought we just grew apart because of military life, but not because my ex had a affair.  I never made that their issue, I never spoke ill of him.  

After divorcing, I was able to forgive, and we found that we were better friends and great at raising our kids.  I didn't get that when my parents divorced. My mom never had a good thing to say about my dad; she blamed him for everything. Then at 35, me and my siblings found out she was the cause of their marriage dissolving.  Funny thing is to this day she has no clue that we know the truth. My dad never said a bad thing about her, never once even though she didn't have a good thing to say about him.  

Though my childhood being a child of divorce wasn't particularly pleasant, it taught me to do better at parenting, and when faced with my own divorce, to be better instead of bitter at co-parenting.


Interested in contributing to this series? Contact us at info AT co-parenting101 dot org.


"When Divorce Magnifies Adoption's Losses": Deesha's Essay in the NYTimes

In January, Deesha's essay about co-parenting our youngest child, who is adopted, was published in the New York Times' Motherlode column.  Here's an excerpt:

To have been adopted and then become a child of divorce has added another layer of complexity to my daughter’s struggles. Some of my friends are surprised that she struggles with adoption issues because ours is an intraracial domestic adoption, and we brought her home when she was 2 weeks old. But from what I can glean from my daughter, she not only questions whether she belongs in our family, there’s also the logistical question of which of her parents she belongs to on any given night. Which home is home this weekend?

Read the rest here.


Co-Parenting 101 at Parenting Expo - Pittsburgh!

 Monroeville Convention Center, March 8 & 9, 2014

We’re pleased to be presenting a co-parenting workshop at Parenting Expo Pittsburgh on March 8!  The Expo is a 5-city, weekend-long event featuring ideas, advice, and new products for parents, and it’s kicking off in Pittsburgh at the Monroeville Convention Center.  We’ll be there to talk about helping kids not only survive divorce, but thrive in 2 households. And we’ll have signed copies of our book Co-Parenting 101: Helping Your Kids Thrive in Two Households After Divorce available for purchase.

We’ll be presenting at 4:15 on Saturday, but check out the full schedule of Parenting Expo speakers and exhibitors here, and you can buy tickets here. Kids are welcome at Parenting Expo, and kids under 14 are admitted free.  Parents, grandparents, caregivers and educators will have an opportunity to receive up-to-date information on what’s important to them right now – from prenatal care to raising teens. In addition, attendees will walk away with meaningful coupons, giveaways, goody bags full of products from exhibitors, and opportunities to win prizes throughout the Expo.

Courtesy of Parenting Expo and Blue Sky Events, we’re giving away complimentary passes to the Expo in Pittsburgh to 10 winners.  Each winner can claim up to FOUR passes.  

There are 3 ways to enter to win:

1. Leave a comment or question about the Expo in the comments section here.

2. Tweet about the Expo. Make sure to use @coparenting101 and use the hashtag #ParentingExpo.

3. Post on Facebook about the Expo and tag or link to our Facebook page:

10 winners will be announced here, on Facebook, and on Twitter between now and March 1st.

We look forward to seeing you at Parenting Expo Pittsburgh!

Not in or near Pittsburgh? Parenting Expo and Co-Parenting 101 are also coming to Cleveland, Columbus (OH), Cincinnati, and Indianapolis. Details here.