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7 Deadly Sins of Co-Parenting

Parenting is hard, but co-parenting is even harder. You start co-parenting right after a messy divorce and you’d rather be a million miles away from your ex, but instead you’re coordinating drop off schedules. Although it can be challenging, blogger Valerie DeLoach offers the following seven deadly signs of co-parenting to avoid in order to successfully raise your kids:

  1. Wrath: This is the sin that causes many of the others. You might feel justified, but remember that it’s your kids who will most likely suffer when they have to also deal with your wrath. If you have uncontrolled anger, you need to seek help.
  2. Greed: In co-parenting, this usually means you’re trying to “win.” That’s a selfish, greedy mentality. There is no winning. Your kids won’t benefit from you “winning” most of the fights, so be above the greed.
  3. Sloth: Are you failing to follow the court order? That might just be a sign of laziness and it’s a failure as a co-parent. You will be held accountable to all legal documents, so put the energy in to make sure you’re doing what needs to be done.
  4. Gluttony: Put your needs behind the needs of your kids. Somehow this tends to be harder as a co-parent, but it’s just as important. In fact, it may be more important.
  5. Envy: Envy is a tough one to control. You may envy your ex’s new relationship, the fun your ex is having with your kids and not you, or many other new circumstances. Focus on being happy with what’s currently in your life.
  6. Pride: This most commonly occurs when you fail to see what your ex brings to the table. When you view yourself as twice the parent he/she is, you’re being prideful. And you may unintentionally try to force those views onto your children. Practice humility. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses.
  7. Lust: An intense desire for money, control or power can all be considered lust. And in co-parenting there are a lot of possibilities for lust. A successful co-parenting relationship requires communication, compromise and self-reflection.

Co-Parenting Dos and Don’ts

Parents divorce or separate and then try to figure out how to still be the best parents they can be. We know it’s not black and white, but if only there was a list of right from wrong. Good news—now there is! We’ve shared the below Dos and Don’ts from Dr. Phil regarding co-parenting:

Dos:

  • Remember that you’re only in charge of your own life. You can’t parent for your ex, just as much as you can’t live his/her life. Take the high road and worry about yourself.
  • Always put your children first. Almost every interaction with your ex will probably affect your children in some way, but that’s easy to forget at times.
  • Set boundaries and make sure that your relationship with your ex is limited, but healthy.
  • Set a specific plan for parenting that works for both of you, and most importantly, will work for the kids.
  • Tell you ex the things they’re going to hear. For example, if you’re dating someone new, your ex would rather hear it from you than the kids.

Don’ts:

  • Don’t talk poorly about your ex, and expect him/her to do the same. Nothing good will come from that.
  • Don’t jump to conclusions or assume that your ex is always the ‘bad guy.’ If a situation arises that your children tell you about, discuss it with him/her before you take action.
  • Never use your children as pawns. This should be obvious, but you’d be surprised how many Orange County parents we’ve seen do it.
  • Don’t ask your children to pick a side- you’ll end up looking like the bad guy.

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