Exchange conflict for compromise and communication
by Sarah Cody View here
BURLINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) – Divorce is difficult. Oftentimes, mom and dad need to put aside contentious feelings to make sure their child still feels stable and secure. News 8’s Connecticut Families is taking a two part look at how to co-parent in a positive way.
“There were other times when she wasn’t too happy with me but was still a good co-parent,” says Justin Michaels, of Burlington.
He, and his ex-wife Chantel, divorced when their son, Remi, was a baby.
“It can be really stressful when you’re young, both in college,” says Justin. “We owned a home, had a newborn.”
Chantel adds: “It’s hard. You have this little human being that loves both of you very much and it was hard enough to be split and share my time.”
At first, co-parenting was difficult as Justin and Chantel figured out their new relationship. They worked hard – agreeing on one thing: the didn’t want Remi to feel like he was in the middle.
“I come from a split family, so, I knew exactly what I didn’t want to do,” says Justin.
“Particularly when there’s a romantic relationship that’s broken up, that child becomes a symbol of the loss, a symbol of a lot of things,” says Ruth Freeman, a licensed clinical social worker and founder of Peace at Home Parenting Solutions, a team of educators and child development specialists that offer online classes.
She says don’t make a child take sides.
After Justin Michaels had gotten into a good co-parenting groove with his ex-wife, Chantel, he introduced her to his new girlfriend, Laurah.
“She was in nursing school at that point, and I’m a nurse, so we were talking about that,” remembers Laura. “Chantel is one of the nicest humans ever, so, we got along from the start.”
Justin and Laurah got married, as did Chantel and Tyler. Suddenly, little Remi had a step-mom and a steo-dad added to the mix.
“The idea of the mother and the father and the nuclear family, that’s not the way kids are growing up now,” says Ruth Freeman, founder of Peace At Home Parenting Solutions.
She says “planning” can make co-parenting a whole lot easier.
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