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Self-Centered coParenting: What It Is, Why It Works

When you are coParenting with an individualistic coParent, self-centered coParenting may be the answer. Here’s what you need to know.
(1 minute 54 seconds read)

Kathleen Bird
Kathleen Bird, JD is a mediator, parent educator, former judge, and family lawyer.

Self-Centered coParenting: What It Is, Why It Works

I have spent nearly four decades working with parents who are frustrated and angry about the lack of cooperation from their child’s coParent. Instead, parents should be considering self-centered coParenting.

Without Self-Centered coParenting

After a lot of thought, research, and experience I have arrived at an important conclusion:  forcing, mandating, and punishing uncooperative and misbehaving coParents has fleeting success at best. The effort to force a coParent to toe the line is very costly and exhausting for the minimal and short-lived results that are normally achieved. There must be a way for parents living separately to engage in child-focused and thoughtful parenting regardless of the amount of cooperation between them.

With Self-Centered coParenting

No one cares more about your quality of life or your child’s welfare more than you do. You will feel more successful as a parent if you can expend your time and resources on nurturing your child.  Self-centered coParenting is a method for empowering yourself to change the situation in ways that benefit you and your child. Stop trying to change the coParent and concentrate on what is in your own control.

Learn to harness the tools in your control to make a difference. Focusing on empowering yourself will increase your confidence that you are improving the quality of parenting your child receives regardless of what the coParent does or doesn’t do. First and foremost, you need to build a strong and positive relationship with your child. You are probably wondering how this gets the coParent to cooperate.

What Is Self-Centered coParenting?

Self-Centered coParenting is a child-centered way of raising your child with a coParent who lives independently by focusing your thoughts, decisions, and actions on things within your own control instead of trying to control the other parent.

Applications of Self-Centered coParenting

Self-centered means being in control of your own thought process, ready to make thoughtful positive choices instead of merely reacting, and taking effective action when necessary to benefit your child. Paying more attention to parenting and less to conflict with the coParent gives you breathing room to strengthen your relationship with your child and be the kind of parent that you really find fulfilling.

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