Co-parent Coaching - Together isn't Always BestApr 13, 2023
“I’m finalizing my divorce. My ex and I fundamentally disagree on parenting. We’re seeking ways we can work better together for our son, but I am pessimistic we can even agree on a coach or that our intransigence can change.”
I received this message last week, and for a lot of separating and divorced parents, it probably feels familiar, right? What can you do when your kid needs you and your ex to improve communication and co-parenting, but things are so contentious? Parent coaching can be a lifesaver, even when cooperation seems hopeless. And you don’t have to be able to work together to get the benefits!
Lots of people envision themselves sitting in a room with their ex and coach, speaking and listening together, learning to cooperate, and coming to collaborative conclusions. They think: “We’re separating and need to co-parent, so we should hire someone who will work with both of us together to figure that out.” Makes sense, but depending on your healing process, this may not be best. For this reason, I encourage all my potential co-parenting clients to ask themselves:
Should we be doing this together? Or is individual work better?
There is a common misconception that doing co-parent work individually is like pushing the pause button on the collaborative dynamic you want to create. Not true!
Being in the same room together is not what improves co-parenting. In fact, that piece is almost irrelevant!
What improves co-parenting is parents healing and growing, and it’s really normal if you can’t be in the same room with your ex while you do that. The magical thing is that while you do the individual stuff, the co-parenting dynamic naturally improves without either of you ever being in the same room simultaneously with your coach.
Some people come to me ready to work together, and it’s great! And some aren’t, which is also perfectly lovely. We begin our work individually, and their kid’s childhood massively improves whether either of them ever reaches the point where they are ready to come together.
So be honest with yourself: if you and your ex are at the point where one of you will deny the sky is blue simply because the other says it is, let’s honor where you are instead of pretending you’re somewhere else!
There is no wrong way to begin co-parent coaching except not to begin it at all! So set up a discovery call with me today, and let’s get this work started for you and your kids!
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