My son’s father and I recently celebrated our son’s Kindergarten graduation, and I’m sure we’ll have many more milestones to celebrate as time goes on. He and I are no longer together, but we make it a priority to co-parent. We're basically in this thang for life, or at least until one of us dies. Co-Parenting is essential to raising successful kids that won’t end up seeking psychological counseling because their parents couldn’t get their shit together for the sake of the child.
|Me and my Son's Father aka my Babydaddy|
Let’s be clear, I didn’t set out to be a “babymama”. It was wasn’t my dream as a little girl, to grow-up and be a statistic. I had dreams of the white picket fence, two-story home, and perfect career, while my husband and I raised beautiful black babies. I thought me and my husband would act like Martin & Gina, but raise our kids like Carl & Harriet, and on the weekends act bougie like Uncle Phil & Dark-skin Aunt Viv, and stay on the come-up like George & Weezy. But hey, in the famous words of Forrest Gump: “Shit happens!” My story didn’t quite turn out like that. Instead, I fell in love with the boy next door or the boy from the hood, depending on how you look at it. We literally stayed four houses away from one another and we were into one another like Alicia Keys’ Teenage Love Affair. Just like a childhood lullaby, first came love, then came baby, and then came Tynee` with the baby carriage. I’m a 1000% sure my story isn’t unique, but it’s my story nonetheless.
Now, although it began all romantical and shit, just like the seasons, things change. So let’s fast forward to today. Having a child takes hard work, patience and dedication from all parties involved. I don’t like the terms babymama and babydaddy, although I use those terms jokingly, I think it reduces both the man and woman. There is power in parenting and there is joy in co-parenting. Reassuring your child that he or she was conceived in love is the first step in being successful co-parents. So if you and your ex are looking to become better parents although, you two didn’t work out, here are 5 tips to being successful Co-Parents:
|Now this is just outright petty.com!|
Leave Petty at the Door
Although being petty is super fun and your child’s other parent makes you want to throw hands and catch a case on the regular: Don’t be petty! Petty creates a hostile environment. Talking slick and always seeking to be “Right” isn’t always in the best interest of the child. Keep Petty Pendergrass at bay, even when you feel him creeping up out your soul. Think about, what it is you’re really trying to convey and be clear on it.
|Photo Credit: http://www.dudebeadad.com/2015/07/communicate.html|
Words are important. How you say those words are even more important. Always be willing to discuss things. Try to be slow to offense, but always be ready for reconciliation. This doesn’t make you weak. Communicate the good and bad that is happening with your child. Don’t play the blame game. For example, if your child is having a rough time in school, don’t try and belittle the other parent and point fingers. Although, the child may be acting out due to something either parent has or has not done, try and come together and think of solutions to fix what is wrong. Have a sit down or Skype session with the child and both parents and listen to what the child might be feeling. Do not include people that did not help create this child in the mix.
Boyfriends and Girlfriends
Which leads me to my next point. No shade to the new girlfriend or boyfriend in ya’ll life, but they need to stay in their lane. Babymammas and Babydaddies everywhere, please talk to your significant others individually and collectively with your respective exes, so that the air is clear and everyone can be on one accord. I know sometimes this is hard. Trust me! I’ve come a mighty loooooooonnnnnngggggg way. I mean, I have done my share of crazy and I have used every cuss word I know, but if the new chick or new dude has your child’s best interest at heart, don’t trip. However, communication, once again is essential. The parents in this scenario can’t be on some bullshit. The parents need to create a good environment so that the new chick and new dude, don’t think it’s some funny shit going on between the parentals ya dig!
Man, take time to laugh. Remember that once upon a time you and the other parent had a relationship or some type of rapport with one another. The child you both created is 50% of each of you. Take time to share funny stories that the child did while they were in your care. This makes room for a healthy dialogue and it shows the child that you two aren’t always at odds.
Maybe this should have been number one, but there is power in prayer. It’s not always shits and giggles when it comes to me and my son’s father. He does in fact get on my everlasting nerve. However, after the arguments, yelling, or disagreements, I take it to the Lord in prayer. Pray over your child. Pray for your ex. If one parent doesn’t have a job, and isn’t contributing, pray that they get gainful employment. If one parent doesn’t have a relationship with the child, pray that God changes their heart. In all things, good, bad, or indifferent PRAY and watch God change things.