All things considred in parenting
First Panel Question agreed upon was: Can effective co-parenting results be achieved between parents who were raised semi-polar opposite? I will say yes. Anything can be achieved when you work together toward the greater solution. When you are working together, you sometimes have to remove yourself from the equation. Not just on the surface, but beyond. If you are working for the benefit of a common interest, your decision should reflect concern for the common interest more so than an independent interest.
In regard to co-parenting, sometimes it is necessary to charge-off your past. If you see that the influences that you may have been under as a child are starting to play out in your own parenting in a negative way-this is when you alter. Past experiences are not to be repeated, if you want greater results. Most people aren’t saying, ‘I will do it all over and I wouldn’t change a thing.’ Most people, when given an opportunity to do something over that was not done successfully the first time, are able to apply necessary changes and do it better. It will take looking at your life; past and present and being unequivocally honest with yourself before you can proceed with the change.
Case A: A boy born into a house-whole where his mother and father were married. However, his father lived a double life and had another woman pregnant at the same time. Growing up, his mother and father often pawned the children off on the grandparents for months at a time. Perhaps so that mom could go to work and dad could travel to another state to take care of his other family. At any rate, neither parents could be present/constant. However, with the help of grandparents-they were able to work and play. Throughout the marriage, mother takes back seat to dad’s ways and decisions to continually step out. While this was ideal for the children, as they were able to run and play with cousins and have a fun time; the fact is-they were not with parents because parents could not be there. It was fortunate that grandparents could be. Those parents later divorce, while children were still attending high school. –irreconcilable differences? You think?
Meanwhile….during the same years…
Case B: A girl is born into house-whole where mother and father are married. Mother and father stay together and are still presently together. Growing up, decisions in house-whole were joint and mutual. Decisions were supported together by both parents. Girl spent time with extended family but was always in the presence of mother and father, never neglected or pawned off on other family while parents attended their interest. Family values were instilled, such as togetherness and unity. Standing for and with each other when times are good and bad. No cheating occurred or was tolerated. The roughest patch was drinking (2yr) by dad, a retired VET. However, once given the ultimatum, he stopped cold turkey (in ONE day) to save what was the most important thing to him-demonstrating what you do to keep your family unit together. 38 years in counting, stronger than ever.
When you think about the two cases above, either could turn out bad. Either could turn out good. It is when it starts off bad and ends up bad, that you have not been able to look back and see that you are perpetuating a cycle. When case A and B, together has a child of their own, these past influences could greatly affect the co-parenting structure. Case A still believes it’s good to take children and drop them off away from either parent. Whereas, case B thinks it’s absolutely wrong to take a child in tender years and leave them hundreds of miles away from access to their parents, for weeks at a time. Especially against the wishes and without approval of the other parent.
Case A doesn’t know what it looks like to make decisions together. Perhaps he is not wired to understand the effects that this has on the unit. Perhaps Case B cannot understand Case A’s logic because her parents never did this to her and she’s never witnessed one parent making a sole decision without consulting other parent when it pertains to the unit.
I will say that this is why I would not give total discretion to case A. You can’t take something this fragile that carries this much responsibility such as parenting and give it solely to someone who’s never experienced what it was like to have a stable upbringing. Because their dynamic teaches, condones and exemplify that it is ok to abandon your children.
Case A only remembers the great times he may have had as child. He cannot understand that the present time and circumstance is different. That his own situation does not warrant abandoning his child. He does not realize that his child’s mother is capable of providing for her child, giving him the luxuries and necessities TOGETHER with the tender, loving care and concern a child needs spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally. And that she can accomplish this all while involving both families and by including both parents. He never saw a picture of how it looks to be able to do this. Likewise, she’s never experienced an estranged family.
The biggest point I want to make is, even this extreme real-life example, it is still possible. But only by being able to recognize where the change should have happened, remove negative intention and make adequate correction. Successful Co-parenting results begin at the willingness to work together to find a solution but you both have to agree. It’s not a matter of buying a blue car over a red one because the choice for either would be the same. That’s just a color preference. Those decisions don’t carry the weight of the ones I’m addressing such as the way you agree to raise your children. Once you find the common denominator, you can change the mathematics of parenting history.
Niedria D. Kenny
The D, is for Deon - same name as my son. The only child AKA Prince Cornelius; he's the Prince in "Prince Cornelius and his Magical Friends" a book dedicated to the life and growth of my child.