Responsible Parenting Guidelines
Many couples with children who separate think that with the divorce their relationship terminates forever, however they are wrong most of the time. They shall have a longstanding task which shall last until their children reach adulthood. It is their responsible parenting guidelines or co-parenting skills.
These are a series of rules, guidelines, behaviors, attitudes, that parents should follow if they want to be responsible, with the only goal being their children’s well being above all.
Responsible parenting guidelines make both parents (even if they do not want to) to communicate, dialogue, be flexible and exhibit tolerance for the children’s benefit. No one is saying that this task is easy after a divorce by no means. The majority of couples enter into crises mode when their agreement which should be in existence after a separation is not adhered to.
Some of the obstacles which do not allow these guidelines are negative attitudes, behaviors, which inhibit dialogue and comprehension such as:
- They assume ownership of the child
- They compete with the other parent
- They are not flexible and do not adjust to a particular situation
- When the objective is not the child but the selfishness of one of them
- Their need in the their mind: to use their child as an instrument of anger to get back at their ex spouse.
There are times that the responsible parenting guidelines are not reached because there is no desire to cooperate, between both. But we cannot forget that many times the parent who is the most generous with their behavior is the one who most often obtains the greatest benefit in the long run.
Another factor is when parents decide to hire attorneys to represent them in divorce they spend their life savings and there comes a point when they lose all objectivity beyond the antagonistic attitude with each other to protect their children’s mental, physical and spiritual health.
Reprinted with the permission of the National Association of Social Workers.
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