“If you do not know where you are going, you cannot know out how to get there.” – Irish Proverb
Start with Vision: Have a vision of what you want your children’s lives be like, not only as they go through childhood but also when they reach adulthood.
Look at the list below, because these are some of your choices:
1. I want my children to be happy to see both parents at their events; or I want my children to be scared and ashamed that both of their parents are at their events.
2. I want my children to be open with us about what their experiences are; or I want my children to be secretive, worry about what to tell us and what not to tell us.
3. I want my children to always feel that both of their parents were “there for them” and will be for them in the future; or I want my children to be frightened of their wedding celebration because both parents will be there.
4. I want my children to be successful in their adult relationships; or I want my children to learn how to fight dirty, be immature in their relationships, and have relationship failures.
5. I want my children to know how to address problems in relationships successfully; or I want my children to learn to blame other people for problems and cut people off if they disagree.
Your vision of what you want for your children translates into goals for the coParenting relationship:
• What are your goals for your children?
• What would you like to hear them say in 20 years about their childhood after their parents separated?
• What would you like their relationships with their parents to be when they are adults?
From Vision to Goals: For parents to design a successful coParenting relationship, you must first establish a set of mutual goals:
• How do you want your children to remember the part of their childhood from now until they are adults?
• What would you like to hear them say about their family experience after their parents separated?
• What kinds of relationships do you want them to have with each of you?
• What are your goals regarding residential schedules, no matter what the residential schedule turns out to be.
From COPARENTING TRAINING WORKBOOK For Separating or Separated Parents by Kenneth H. Waldron, PhD and Allan R. Koritzinsky, Esq.