Divorce is often followed by anger, fear, resentment, trauma, and divided loyalties for the children involved. Susie talks with author Tammy Daughtry of CoParenting International about the challenges of divorce and co-parenting your children in a healthy way. They unpack several aspects of the co-parenting discussion.
Tammy shares her own story of coming from a broken home and walking through her own divorce fourteen years ago:
“I can say that God redeems. He gave me the ability to step forward in a healthy way and to raise a daughter that’s really thriving.”
She speaks from experience about the importance of processing the pain in a healthy way. In Tammy’s words:
“I could be angry and stay angry or I could ask God to take this away. I believe that was one of the greatest gifts I gave my daughter.”
She has two key tips:
• Tammy suggests scheduling a monthly co-parenting meeting where the two of you sit down and talk about how your child is doing physically, mentally, emotionally, school-wise, etc.
• It is important to not speak ill of your spouse in front of your children, which will lead to divided loyalties and resentment in their minds. Be positive during the hand-off; don’t make your child feel guilty for spending time with the other parent.
Additionally, Tammy lists the top ten things a child of divorce would want to say to their parents:
“Don’t say mean things about my other parent.”
“When you criticize my other parent, it makes me angry at you.”
“Don’t make me choose who to spend time with.”
“Handle your financial conversations in private.”
“Don’t use money to win my love.”
“Don’t keep me from seeing the other parent.”
“Get a counselor to help you with your problems. I need you to be strong for me.”
“The harder you make it on my other parent, the harder you make it on me.”
“Laugh and smile. Find a way to be happy. Your mood impacts my mood.”
“Don’t forget that I have a divided heart now; I live between two different houses, traditions, and routines. Give me some grace when I get them confused.”