by Alexis Dobbins
At KidsNeed2, I promote positive, peaceful co-parenting. I coach moms and dad to eliminate the drama, anger, shame and blame, and work on being the best positive parents ever. Together.
And then one day I posted this pic on social media.
I was surprised at the feedback; folks were tripping. Some people asked, “What does that mean?” A few people mentioned, “You gotta do what you gotta do to keep the peace”. Really? And then, one or two people said, “I wouldn’t put it out there like that.” My “it” was compromise, trying, make an effort. Apparently that was not as clear as I would have liked.
It got me thinking, though. How often is positive co-parenting about the children? How do you know when he or she wants to reignite the romance? How do you know whether it’s the children, or you, on the agenda? How do you know? Here are three signs to help you out.
Unnecessary touching over, well, anything.
I am a big proponent of co-parents who can interact peaceably and kindly in public. One of the things you owe your children is the ability to assemble freely without fear of harm. (That might be in the Constitution, I’m not sure).
I talk about that in Six Tested Moves of Fake Positive Co-parenting. What I don’t mention is anything about touching the other parent, and that’s because it – touching – isn’t necessary and usually isn’t received well, unless there are still some feelings left. Somebody wants a redo. If he or she is touching you often, enough so that you notice it, be aware.
Unnecessary communication, usually after 9pm.
Friendly co-parents spend time together, go shopping for the children, maybe grab a meal (sometime with their significant others or members of the blended family). As a coach, I like to see co-parents interacting socially with the children and with each other.
With the children, get it? If the other parent always wants to talk after 9 or 10pm, and occasionally throws in an invite to meet them somewhere after 9 or 10pm, and the ‘somewhere’ is dimly lit and music is in there somewhere…somebody wants their boo back.
Unnecessary requests for help, usually involving touching and communication.
Co-parents plan certain events and activities with the other parent, allowing the child to receive attention and love from both parents. Same place, same space. It’s a child’s dream. Aside from that, though, there is always a “time with mom” and a “time with dad”. That, after all, is the core element of co-parenting; otherwise, you’d just be engaged in ole’ regular parenting.
Repeated requests for help may indicate an interest in spending more time with the other parent. If you’re thinking you may just have a uninformed or ill-prepared other parent, that may be the case. What do you want to look out for? The other signs. Touching. Excessive communication.
If you are seeing these 3 behaviors, you have a decision to make. Run with it and see what the end will be –little churchy there but oh so true. Or maybe you already know that things are right where you like them, and your goal is positive, peaceful, productive co-parenting…and nothing else. You can’t say you didn’t know.
About the Author: Alexis Dobbins is a co-parenting expert. She is a Mediation, Counseling and Coaching practitioner who specializes in supporting co-parents with the strategies needed to maintain a peaceful environment for their children.