PARENTING & CHILDREN - PART 2: Yesterday I talked about parents who are co-parenting. Today I want to talk about co-parenting and dating. Many time parents enter into a dating relationship while they are co-parenting. They want the children to use the term mom and dad when there is already a real mom and dad, and disputes between the two real parents escalate because of these terms. I have had to mediate this issue in co-parenting mediation. The other issue is when the real parent wants their new relationship to step in an discipline, suggest discipline, of their child.
Sometimes the child is a troubled child, will not listen to parents, gets their way, and puts the BF/GF in a negative view by the child. No BF/GF wants to be the bad cop in the relationship, it will destroy the relationship every single time. The BF/GF may get frustrated because the child abuses the parent relationship, because they know they can through guilt or aggressive behavior, an no correction is done by the parent. Thus, more frustration to their BF or GF. I have seen this happen.
Many times when individuals are co-parenting and they have a BF/GF they try to inject themselves in the process of co-parenting mediation process. I have to tell the two parents, in fact it is in my mediation agreement, that the only two people that can make a decision in the mediation process are the parents, no outside parties (including relatives) should be involved. What we talk about is confidential conversations and decisions made only by the parents. We have had to put this in our mediation agreements because since we do zoom mediation sessions, there may be other people in the room that are not part of the mediation process.
The parenting of the child is the responsibilities of the parents only, that why it is called co-parenting. Don't get your significant others involved in the child's life until you say "I Do" and you are united in the family home life. It is very important that parents have in place a co-parenting plan so everyone knows the rules and can visit the plan from time to time in mediation. www.lodge-co.com
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Michael Lodge is a Nationally Certified Professional Mediator specializing in business disputes, as well as family conflicts. He has written three books and hosts an international podcast on IHeartRadio and other podcast media stations.