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​The Need for Co-Parenting, Regardless of Relationship Status

Delaware Fatherhood and Family Coalition - Friday, December 26, 2014


​The Need for Co-Parenting, Regardless of Relationship Status

Fathers and mothers are both important to the family, and unfortunately, the problems in the relationship or the issues that the mother has with her baby’s daddy or the father has with the mother often get in the way. Whether she or he loves you, dislikes you, doen’t want to be around you, stopped enjoying your company or never ever wants to be in a loving and committed relationship with you ever again – you are still the father (the daddy to your child) or mother and your rights and roles are just as important as the others when it comes to the child.

But women often don’t truly understand what moves their children’s father or what makes him tick. They don’t understand what drives a father to be there and to do for her and the children for the long haul. They often aren’t sure how to keep a father engaged and involved with the children (that they both had together) instead of him being absent and thus being called a deadbeat dad. They don’t necessarily understand how to keep him engaged.

And dads often aren’t sure how to stay engaged with their children when they are no longer involved with their mother. Even dads who live with their children’s mother sometimes have difficulty developing a good approach to co-parenting.

The Power of Two: Putting the Pieces Together…Together

Working together parenting

There is so much more that can get accomplished when the two parents work together.If the two have split up then for the sake of the children – there is still more power in the two.

​​Why? Because no one parent has all it takes to raise a child. While we think it IS true that it takes a village to fully and properly raise a child, the key members of that “village” are the mother and the father. And each of you brings some of the pieces to the puzzle!

For a child to become all he or she was created to be, both of you need to bring what you have learned in life – wisdom, the insights, the skills, the know-how, the values and principles, the faith. And increasingly, as they grow older, your children will be able to bring some pieces to the puzzle as well. So together, you put the pieces together…regardless of whether you and your child’s mother are “together” or not as a couple.


Why It’s Important: Kids Want It

If kids could talk honestly about what they want from you both…regardless of you are together with the other parent…here’s the kind’s of things they would tell you:


Dear Mom and Dad, I am just a kid, so Please…

  • 1. Do not talk badly about my other parent.
  • 2. Do not talk badly about my other parent’s friends or relatives. Let me care for someone, even if you don’t.
  • 3. Do not talk about the divorce or other grown-up stuff. Please leave me out of it.
  • 4. Do not talk about money or child support.
  • 5. Do not make me feel bad when I enjoy my time with my other parent.
  • 6. Do not block my visits or prevent me from speaking to my other parent.
  • 7. Do not interrupt my time with my other parent by calling too much or by planning my activities during our time together.
  • 8. Do not argue in front of me or on the phone when I can hear you.
  • 9. Do not ask me to spy for you when I am at my other parent’s home.
  • 10. Do not ask me to keep secrets from my other parent.
  • 11. Do not ask me questions about my other parent’s life or about our time together.
  • 12. Do not give me verbal messages to deliver to my other parent.
  • 13. Do not send written messages with me or place them in my bag.
  • 14. Do not blame any other parent for the divorce or for things that go wrong in your life.
  • 15. Do not treat me like an adult, it causes way too much stress for me.
  • 16. Do not ignore my other parent or sit on opposite sides of the room during my school or sports activities.
  • 17. Do let me take items to my other home as long as I can carry them back and forth.
  • 18. Do not use guilt or pressure me to love you more, and do not ask me where I want to live.
  • 19. Do realize that I have two homes, not just one.
  • 20. Do let me love both of you and see each of you as much as possible! Be flexible even when it is not part of your regular schedule.


Some Things to Remember About Co-Parenting

Co-Parenting for the Good of the Children. ​At the end of the day, we believe in putting the child first.

“It’s Not Just About You​ It’s About the Children Too!"

Who’s Parenting Whom?

  • 1. If you don’t parent your children then your children will end up parenting you.
  • 2. What gets accomplished when two parents are:
    • Headed in the Same Direction
    • Headed in Separate Directions
    • Headed Simply in the Children Direction


Co-Parenting and Location

Location, Location, Location may be important when trying to decide where to put a store or even buy a house. But it is less important when it comes to Co-parenting. Instead, it is love the children no matter where you are, no matter where they are and no matter what the cost.
​In other words, you BOTH are my parents and I need you BOTH!


Adapted from © 2012 Dr. Sheldon D. Nix & Darrell V. Freeman, M.A. “A Father for Life: The 6 “C’s” of a Star Dad”. A DFFC Publication.

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About DFFC

The Delaware Fatherhood & Family Coalition is an extension of the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program and the Responsible Fatherhood Initiative created specifically to give a voice to fathers and the importance of their involvement for the well-being of their children.

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