Co-parenting should be a comfortable thing

Phiri Cawe

When I grew up I used to observe how our parents treated us as children.

At a distance co-parenting was a comfortable thing. Even today I feel that it still is. Now that I am a parent, I have observed and concluded that parents make it harder than it should be. Be it for married, divorced or unmarried couples. Before tripping myself up with this topic, let me admit that this is quite a complex topic that needs psychologists and experts in the field. But I will try the unscientific side of it.

Firstly, we are in the 21st Century where everything and anything is being viewed by an eagle eye and questioned. But we have progressed such that we live in a technological world. Unlike the stone age period, today we are moms and dads who spend too much time on their smartphones. Maybe you will ask what that has to do with parenting. It has a bad effect, that’s my observation. It impacts dearly on how we grow our offspring.

Whoever thinks bringing up children is easy should be saved, protected and kept in a nice place. With technology and money we are likely to be bad parents. One, we don’t have much time with them. Secondly, we spoil them rotten. These impacts on married and unmarried couples. There would be differences as to how the children are brought up and taught respect, self-respect, self-sufficiency and independence. One of the two parents is likely to be stricter than the other. Or both be nicer to their offspring.

Let me tap on unmarried couples who want to build strong bonds with their children and have a healthy relationship with their kids. I have seen and read more about these couples complaining on how the other treats the other. Without concluding, but I have noticed in between there is more pain than love in co-parenting in unmarried couples. As I have said, this is not a conclusion. Take whichever suits you. Once the couples have a fallout, that affects the kids. It escalates to whoever has the children on his/side blocking the other to see and reach out to the children. But again it is not always a case.

In most cases it depends on where one is and the relationship he/she has with both sides. Couples fight even with buying clothes for children. They would argue with the brands of the clothing. But in this enlightened time, this applies to married couples too. My experience is that co-parenting is a great pain which can be hard to fix despite tries from both sides. It is worrying when the couples have their skewed egos. They both want to show how extravagant they can be when buying whatever for children instead of building better citizens. Sometimes, there’s no one who is ambitious and hopes for a better future and a family. They drive things the way they want to be with no thought of the children.

Easy things like access to children is a tough call especially to divorced and unmarried couples. Whoever has children on his/her side does not allow or hardly allows access to children and sleepovers. There are limits. Whoever has no children would never enforce things on children. Gently, boundaries are in place. Children’s lifestyle choices are not for the one who is not living with children. For one to be a good dad/mom it is at the mercy of the one with children. That is the darker side of co-parenting in divorce but in some instances even in the married couple. There are married couples who are not coping with how their children are brought up. There are couples who have little access to their children’s future even though under one roof. There are parents who try by all means to be parents, but they have failed. Parenting in some has killed the joy of bringing the baby on earth. It has killed that dream of wanting healthy children with a super relationship with them and the mother/father. The dream of homes where kids are healthy and beautiful with a brighter future.

I know it is easier said than done, but co-parenting can be done better. In fact, it is no issue in some nationalities. Couples should not put themselves before their children. There should be open relationships in both parents with their children. There should be no fears that children might choose this before that. As long as children are happy and are receiving the love they deserve, it should be okay. Parents should stop fighting their battles using children.