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"What I Wish My Co-Parents Had Known": Get Counseling When a Parent is Absentee

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. 

The next interviewee in this series is K.

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? non-supportive, non-existent, lacking


2. What is one thing you wish your parent or parents knew about your life after they divorced or split up? I never learned how a relationship is supposed to work from them.

3. What is one memory you have of the time not long after your parents divorced or split up? I remember how desperate my dad was to get custody of us. He wanted to move to California with us and make a new life.


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 dad was always nicer than he had to be to our step-dads (there were 2).

5. What was (or is) the most challenging part of being raised by co-parents or by a single parent? My mom originally won custody of us, but lost it when she was hurt in a car accident. When my dad took custody, he never arranged for child support. My mom lived a lavish life while we were poor and struggled for food and clothing.

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? Moms aren't always good parents. I was raised by my dad on his own, while he struggled with depression and disability. He did a better job than she ever could have.

7. If you were a co-parent, what would you do to help your kids deal with living between 2 households? I would make sure they had counseling to deal with the confusion and problems that arise with an absent parent.

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

You can read the previous post in this series here.


« Gwyneth Paltrow, Conscious Uncoupling, & Co-Parenting | Main | "What I Wish My Co-Parents Had Known": A New Series »

Reader Comments (1)

Co-parenting is so tough, even when the parents get along or semi-get along. It's always important to find a way and an appropriate place to express your feeling for the other parent, while maintaining a civil and productive relationship. I always come back to: it's for the sake of my daughter!

March 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHonoree Corder

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