Recently, there’s been some interest surrounding the choices that have been made amongst the Dean family, my family, that is. Blended families are universal and very necessary. It’s because I’ve been living in one for the past 12 years that I feel it’s essential to educate others on the dynamics and explain the benefits that are included. My attempt is to shed some positivity and light to single mothers, fathers, ex-wives, stepmothers and all those in between. But most importantly, the children.
As adults, it’s inevitable that we run into complex life struggles, tests and sometimes soul-drenching events. However, it’s imperative that we place 100 percent of our focus on our precious and innocent children. Their mental and emotional well being in these early, tender years will determine who they will become as adults. I am the product of a messy divorce. And I mean MESSY! I watched my parents go through many awful things. Thankfully, my grandmother (who pulled me out of their drama in the nick of time) saved my soul and raised me well and rounded. I don’t know who I would’ve become otherwise.
It was always extremely important for me to raise my son in a functional manner, because I saw what the opposite impression might potentially be.
I will take the next few weeks to demonstrate my thoughts on co-parenting by sharing my stories through words, photos and video. I hope that this honest attempt gives some clarity to all parents and anyone involved in a child’s life.
Let’s Start Here:
“The key to co-parenting is to focus on your children—and your children only.
Yes, this can be very difficult. It means that your own emotions—any anger, resentment, or hurt—must take a back seat to the needs of your children. Admittedly, setting aside such strong feelings may be the hardest part of learning to work cooperatively with your ex, but it’s also perhaps the most vital. Co-parenting is not about your feelings, or those of your ex-spouse, but rather about your child’s happiness, stability, and future well-being.”
Separating feelings from behavior:
It’s okay to be hurt and angry, but your feelings don’t have to dictate your behavior. Instead, let what’s best for your kids—you working cooperatively with the other parent—motivate your actions.
▪Get your feelings out somewhere else. Never vent to your child. Friends, therapists, or even a loving pet can all make good listeners when you need to get negative feelings off your chest. Exercise can also be a healthy outlet for letting off steam.
▪Stay kid-focused. If you feel angry or resentful, try to remember why you need to act with purpose and grace: your child’s best interests are at stake. If your anger feels overwhelming, looking at a photograph of your child may help you calm down.
▪Use your body. Consciously putting your shoulders down, breathing evenly and deeply, and standing erect can keep you distracted from your anger, and can have a relaxing effect.
“Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you.”
– H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
HE IS THE FUTURE.
The LifeStyleHer Files are lifestyle posts produced and curated by Mashonda Tifrere exclusively for GlobalGrind.com. The LifeStyleHer is also a consulting service in the field of event hosting and available for public speaking events. We focus on all things women, aiming to enrich the womanly mind, body and soul.
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