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Solve Problems Co-Parenting Children
Soulwork Solutions after Divorce or Adoption © Martyn Carruthers

Online Couple Coaching & Soulwork Therapy

Parents need help sometimes. Few children can accept their parents' divorce ...
we coach parents to solve emotional and relationship problems for themselves and their children. Divorce need not require that the children also divorce a parent.

Co-Parenting Children

Co-parenting usually describes a parenting situation where the parents
are not  married nor in an intimate relationship with one another.

Co-parenting may also describe individuals who want to parent children,
who do not wish a conventional relationship.

We believe that children benefit enormously from stable relationships
with both parents, even if the parents are separated or divorced,
unless there is a danger to the children.

Most mature parents want to be actively involved in their childrenís lives. Responsible co-parenting can provide long term healthy relationships and support healthy children becoming mature adults.

Following separation, divorce or adoption, some children feel forgotten or like second class people. The parents can honor and express love to their children and increase their sense of security. If one parent ignores the children, or uses them as bargaining chips (see Parental Alienation), they may burden themselves and their children with emotional problems.

Divorce and Children

Co-parenting usually refers to parents who work cooperatively to help their children smoothly adjust to living in two different households. Separated and divorced couples can work together to maintain friendly relationships and create parenting plans.

Co-parenting often means sharing parenting responsibilities with an ex-spouse living in a separate home. Co-parenting is a conscious decision by both parents to support the childrenís sense of security and to work out an friendly relationship ... for the sake of their children. Co-parenting plans, often worked out during divorce, should be clear, practical and considerate of both households.

Some parents have favorite or special children. A father may favor the youngest daughter (Daddy's Princess), while a mother may favor the eldest son (Little Prince). During a marital separation or divorce, we find that favored children may react more than other children - perhaps convinced that they somehow initiated or caused their parent's separation.

Co-Parenting Plans

After divorce or adoption, parents can show their children that they are still loved, secure and safe with a co-parenting plan. Consistent routines and rules shows children that they are important and that both parents will continue to be present.

Co-parenting plans are useful for both parents and children. Many experts seem to agree that children adjust better to disappointments when both parents remain active in their lives and when both parents avoid involving the children in their own feelings.

Effective co-parenting plans can include:

  1. Finances
  2. Schedule
  3. Discipline
  4. Education
  5. Medical needs
  6. Household rules
  7. Holidays / special events
  8. Decision making guidelines

What can Parents Do?

Partners can first clarify their own emotions about partnership - especially anger, sadness, fear and conflict. If they do not, children may try to carry the parent's hidden emotions into their own lives. There are many potentially toxic situations:

  • If a parent acts resourceless, children may try to grow up too quickly
  • If a parent acts like a victim, children may respond with chronic anger
  • If a parent acts like a failure, children may respond with chronic anxiety
  • If a parent is dead or absent, children may respond with chronic sadness
  • If parents force children to take sides, children may respond with chronic conflict

Parents can encourage their children to communicate with both parents - regardless of circumstances. Otherwise children can develop emotional scars that they may carry for years. Hurt, disappointed children may fight against their parents' separation, attempt to sabotage their parents' new partnerships, or may strive to leave their parents' homes.

"If you support your spouse in front of your child, show that you are a united front, it can help prevent some behavior problems in children who may be at risk."
Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan, Ohio State University

Avoid asking children - even teenagers - for advice about your partnership, about money, custody or court issues. Reassure younger children that your decisions are for their best interest. Ask older children for their thoughts and feelings about decisions - and tell them that although final decisions are made by their parents, their opinions are important.

Discuss how your children can have maximum benefit and happiness when they are with the other parent. (Some children complain that they have already been to the zoo enough times!) Avoid asking children to spy on or to obtain information from an ex-partner.

Parents and co-parents can also:

  1. Respect their ex-partners
  2. Not use children as messengers
  3. Discuss and resolve conflicts privately
  4. Assure children that you will both listen to them
  5. Avoid complaining about your ex - especially to your children

Prevent Learning Disabilities . Adjustment Disorders . Parental Alienation

Separation, Divorce & Co-Parent Coaching

Unresolved emotions sabotage parental roles and responsibilities. If you and your ex canít work out your difficulties, think about getting help, for your benefit as much for your children. Take care not to damage your children nor burden them with your problems!

We usually suggest that both parents have individual coaching to manage individual emotional problems, and then sessions together, to manage partnership issues. We do not take sides - we coach both partners to understand, appreciate and accept each other's perspectives, motivations and goals and to make informed, mature decisions.

Contact us if you want help to separate peacefully ...
to co-parent or to merge families.

Online Couple Coaching, Counseling & Soulwork Therapy

I thought you were just another therapist - but you were not just. Not even. Not only.

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright © Martyn Carruthers 2008-2018
All rights reserved

If you like our work, please link to us. If you know someone who might benefit,
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Have You Suffered Enough?

 Where are you now? Understand your emotions, fixations and enmeshments
What do you hope for? Know your goals and stop sabotaging yourself
Do you feel resourceful? Learn to develop your inner resources
Do emotions block you? Relationship problems and mentor damage
Do your beliefs limit you? Change limiting beliefs and end dependence
Do you feel connected? Resolve identity issues to recover lost resources
Is your partner happy? Build healthy partnership (or separate peacefully)
Are your children healthy? Happy parents better manage family problems
Do you want team success? Team leaders and their teams develop together
Do you have complex goals? Specialty coaching, counseling & therapy

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright © Martyn Carruthers 1996-2018  All rights reserved. Soulwork Systemic Coaching was primarily developed by Martyn Carruthers to help people solve emotional problems and relationship conflicts to achieve their goals. These concepts and strategies are for general knowledge only. Consult a physician about medical conditions and before changing medical treatment. Don't steal intellectual property ... get permission to post, publish or teach Martyn's work - email