Co-Parenting After A Breakup.

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( Not all relationships last forever.

But what happens when that relationship produces children?

How do we learn to separate our hurt and possible ill feelings toward the other parent in a way that does not negatively affect our children?

This seems to be a very big issue in the black community. Statistics prove there is a large number of single parents who are no longer in relationships with the mother or father of their children. I am actually one of those parents and often wonder why many parents allow their personal issues with their co-parent (for whatever reason) dictate how they conduct themselves as parents. The only people that truly get hurt in these instances are the children.

Father and Son -- 2023.

The ultimate goal of a harmonious co-parenting situation is:

* the parents should truly love their children;

* become active participants in the children’s upbringing;

* put aside any personal difference;

* and agree to terms and solutions that are exclusively fair and reasonable that benefit the children’s happy and healthy development.

This should all be simple, right? In most cases this is not the norm. As adults, it’s funny how our unwillingness to collectively work together, lands us in the court systems. Dead beat moms or dead beat dads are the exclusion, and the judicial system may very well be necessary due to the fact that each parent should contribute to a child’s up-bring and well-being. But many parents use the legal system as a way to attack the other parent out of spite and hate. Which results in even more ill feelings, unnecessary cost due to lawyers and court fees, and in some cases jeopardizing a child’s ability to have healthy relationships with both parents. We must understand that the court system has never been concerned about keeping black families together. In fact they benefit greatly from the breakdown of our families.

Moving forward is a part of life and just like change it is a constant. We must understand that there is no substitution for the other involved parent. A new girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, or wife may adore your child like their own, but the co-parent should understand that their significant other is not the biological parent and in turn he/she should be respectful of their place in issues concerning the child’s welfare. That “place” is to be supportive of their spouse and remain neutral in regards to circumstances where they only receive one side of the story.

Involved and active parents are normally territorial about their children and who they are around. Even more so when they are not in the household on a daily bases. Both parents are responsible for playing a positive role when it comes to the balance of their new relationships and their relationship with the children’s other parent.

To often in our community, we see the act of a bitter parent playing a step parent or romantic interest against a biological (co-parent) parent based on bruised egos, hurt feelings, and false representations of the other party. What many don’t understand is that children are very observant and see much more then we give them credit for being able to comprehend. Speaking negatively about the other parent to the child or anyone else, being disrespectful towards the other parent in front of the child, and even creating circumstances in which it is difficult for both parents to actively participate in their child’s life, are unacceptable under any circumstance.

In fact, negative intentions and motives demonstrate the true character of the parent that still harbors resentment and ill will toward the other; no matter how hard they try to cover it. Over time this only serves to aid in a negative perception and resentment of the bitter parent. Our children didn’t ask to be here. It doesn’t matter what the situation may be between parents, we owe it to our children and our society as a whole, to be adults and do our best to work together in raising happy, healthy, and productive citizens.

Staff Writer; Kendrick S.