5.13 - Parents Are Forever
When you are dealing with the other parent, where safety issues are not involved, consider these tips:
- Accept the idea that, while the relationship is ending, you will be parents forever. The family is not ending—it is being reorganized.
- While you no longer share together as partners do, you do share love and mutual concern for your children. This is the new basis of your relationship.
- Separate the children’s needs and concerns from your own. Your child does not experience your former partner in the way you do.
- Create new boundaries in the relationship with your former partner. Do not use old patterns. Create new ones.
- Behave toward your former partner as your business partner in raising the children, not your mate.
- Focus on the strengths in your relationship—what you have done well together as parents—and build on those strengths.
Next, there is another exercise for you to complete. It will help you understand positive and negative communication patterns and help you establish businesslike communication with your former partner.