Tis the season! The season of New Year’s resolutions, of course. Now, I’m not typically a resolution kinda guy. I’m more of the mindset that anything worth doing shouldn’t require a start date, however, I do see the value of using January 1st as a fresh start date. Some people choose dieting or their finances or work and career goals but this post is all about my New Year’s Resolutions for the Co-Parent. Let’s get started (please be sure to share your resolutions – even if they’re not co-parenting related) in the comments below!).
#1 Maximize Our Quality Time
One of the single most difficult aspects of being in a co-parenting situation (for everyone involved) is that contact is limited. If you’re a full-time parent, you may sometimes struggle with the notion of needing a break from your children. When you’re in a co-parent relationship, it’s quite the opposite. I miss my son on almost a daily basis – sometimes even when he’s here with me I’m already thinking ahead to when he has to leave. I know that’s not very healthy, but I sometimes think ahead when it’s time for him to go. My resolution is to live more in the ‘now’ and to maximize the moments I have with him and build memories that will last me though those times when he’s gone.
#2 Maximize My Cooperation
This resolution is actually one that’s dependent on another party, obviously. I’ve always said that I wished we cooperated more, but sometimes emotions can get in the way of logic – even when it comes to what’s best for our children. Our relationship didn’t work out but we’re ‘stuck’ with each other until my son turns 18 (and beyond, really). I think I’m usually a fairly agreeable person, but I resolve to try even harder to cooperate with my ex in 2012. Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean that I’m not going to stand up for myself and my son when necessary, but our cooperation is essential to raise a happy, well-adjusted son.
#3 Maximize My Presence
Parental presence isn’t just a problem with single or co-parent situations. I’ve known full-time parents that aren’t REALLY present in their children’s lives. There was a great DadChat discussion on Twitter (#DadChat is Thursday nights at 9pm Eastern) last night that talked about online safety and one of the key points of the discussion is having a presence in your child’s life. Know what they’re up to. Listen to what they have to say. Observe their behaviors and pick up on some of the ‘clues’ that might get missed by not being truly present.
Those are my three New Year’s Resolutions as a co-parent. What are yours?