Zero in on the issues that truly matter: An A-Z Guide to Cooperative Parenting

Zero in on the issues that truly matter

It is a guarantee that many people involved in a divorce will feel overwhelmed and emotionally incapacitated.  It is important to realize that many people continue to feel lost for a considerable time period after their divorce.  Zeroing in on important aspects of your children’s life and sharing those concerns with your ex should, hopefully, direct both you and your ex to begin to get on a path to work in your child’s best interest.

Your actions day to day will create your new reality.  If I want to lose weight, for example, I need to put down the donuts each day and spend more time at the gym.  The same process works when you first got divorced and are trying to determine your best course of action.  The process is not automatic, it takes time and it will take repeated efforts to get you the goals you truly wish to achieve. 

          Focus on what your children need and chart a course that ensures them success.  Attempt to get your ex on the same page and get them to see the logic of the path you want your child to take.  If your ex excelled in math, it may be a great idea to get your ex into the notion that it is a great thing that your child takes PRE-AP and AP classes in math, even if it means that both of you will have to sacrifice your own personal free time to help the child focus on their studies.  If your ex excelled in sports, it will be a great idea for you and your ex to plan out a schedule ensuring the child is going to practices and games.  If the child is isolated, emotionally immature, and needs more exposure to other children, it would be a great idea to suggest to the ex ways in which the child can attend activities that will allow he or she to appropriately bond with their peers.

Ask your ex to talk to teachers, counselors, or any other third person to understand your child’s exact needs. Sell your ex on the notion that you are here to promote the child’s needs and successes. If you can find that level of commitment between you and your ex, you will find success because you have changed the focus from that of your failed relationship to that of promoting your child’s wellbeing.    

 I have yet to hear a parent say that they do not love their child, or that they would want to see the child harmed in any way.  I have yet to see a parent say that they would not do what needs to be done to take ensure the child’s needs are being taken care of.  Every parent I know would sacrifice most, if not all, to accomplish this feat.  By zeroing in on the child’s needs and sharing that concern with your ex, you can create a new reality in which both of you are working toward a common path.

Learning the skills you will need on a daily basis to have a healthy coexistence with your ex will ultimately be trial by fire.  You will have your good days and bad and there will be times when you think you are in an impossible situation.   It truly will take the very best effort that both you and your ex have to communicate with one another.  Some people use a neutral friend, acquaintance or relative to broker peaceful communication.  Some people use therapists who are trained in giving you the tools necessary to interact with one another.

Understand that your ex’s fear and distrust will blind them in the way they interact with you.  This fear and distrust diminishes the ability to help the child and will heighten your conflict.  Get your ex to focus on the things that are most important to the both of you, your children.


Matt Sossi    

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