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  • Writer's pictureBianca Balogh

It takes two to tango

Co-parenting is a bit like dancing the tango. You really need two people in order to do it; otherwise, you're simply parallel parenting. If co-parenting is like the tango. Parallel parenting is like rocking the dance floor solo style.

What do you do when your co-parent refuses to engage in conversation about the children, ignores your appropriate business-like messages and has a death grip on the anger that has blocked any ability to work together? You take a breath, look at your beautiful children and muster up the strength to stand tall and do the following:

  1. Keep your side of the street clean and ensure you're following the rules (i.e. Parenting Plan and treating your co-parent with respect).

  2. Continually come to the table with answers to your co-parent's messages and never do a "tit for tat" where you ignore him because he's ignoring you.

  3. Never speak badly about your co-parent to your children.

  4. Find the good things about your co-parent and mention those to the children and even to him if you have a chance.

  5. Hold strong in your boundaries and values. Never be manipulated or coerced by the anger, silence, etc.

  6. Treat your co-parent the way you would want to be treated.

  7. Document all communication using Peaceful Parent Messenger for use later in court if needed.

I think what got me into trouble in the first place with my ex-husband was believing I could do it all on my own. I could carry the burden, be the solo bread winner, super mom, breastfeeding super star, the only one in therapy, etc. Fast forward to post-divorce and now co-parenting... I STILL can't do it all on my own. He's got to come to the table with the right attitude (it's about the children) and put his anger aside about past perceived wrong-doings.

When I feel frustrated and hopeless about our inability to co-parent together, I take a moment to be pissed and then I take a breath and image myself rocking the dance floor with moves you have never even seen before... solo style.



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