Parenting: CoParenting In My Words
Every time I hear the word parenting, I feel like it is a psychology buzz word. In the five years of being separated and now DIVORCED, it has been challenging to parent while living separately. However, I have learned that in order to maintain my sanity, I have to function with what works for me, POINT BLANK! I also realized my kids can morph into master MANIPULATORS! for their personal gain. They try to play both sides until someone says NO! All I can say is PUMP THE BRAKES! on this behavior and set some ground rules.
It is so important to me and it actually feels good to say NO to my kids. I have witnessed on multiple occasions how my kids have a false sense of entitlement. I know I am guilty of not setting limitations for them on so many levels. As a single parent, I find myself having very honest conversations with my kids on the reality of our new life. I feel it is important for them to understand my perspective on planning for our future even if they may not agree with my decisions. Now with that said I will say my teen has been the biggest opponent of most of my decisions in the past five years. Honestly, I feel no guilt because I realize he has a lot more maturing to do before he can fully understand this journey. On this journey, you will find that there will be a lot of agreeing to disagree moments and this is OK. Again this journey is about our physical and mental well-being as well for our children. I have found that while parents may share the same expectations for their children, it can be difficult to instill the same boundaries and limitations. My single parenting is a daily journey as I see the good, the bad and the ugly of having to diffuse every feeling and emotion that is warranted and unwarranted with my children. I wish it was as simple as sending my children to a time out chair but this is not reality.
There are days when I feel cheated because I get to experience the defiant side of my children on a daily basis. While the other parent gets to reap the benefits of bringing the fun. This can be a hard pill to swallow and I often wonder what is the true payoff. Coparenting looks different for everyone so I would encourage those who have it nailed- to stick with your game plan. I know for me it comes down to making the best decisions that impact our well-being and puts my children on the right track for the future.
We are five years in and the biggest win is for me to resolve to focus on what provides a win-win in our new home. After we close the door I need to open my parenting 101 book and hope for the best.
Top 5 things I need to make part of my daily parenting journey:
- Be consistent
- Setting boundaries and enforcing consequences for their actions
- Frequently communicate my expectations
- Have open and honest conversations even if it is uncomfortable
- Plan activities for family time