For me to write on this subject certainly opens a can of worms. Worms are like problems, irritants, difficulties, and who likes those? Yet as single parents, they’re often unavoidable.
I know I had my “worms” to deal with in co-parenting. One of them was the frustration I felt during our separation when my former husband would pick up Jason and Sara for the weekend, ring the doorbell and then walk right in the front door. I struggled, This doesn’t feel right. If you want the privilege to roam around the living room, then you need to move back in this place with your family. We all miss you. I felt violated.
Goodness. My counselor had to help me figure this one out! So here’s a few ABC’s about keeping the peace that might be helpful with conflict resolution in general. Your children deserve for you to parent well after the separation, even though you couldn’t live together well before the separation. So why not stick by these rules.
A – Always put the kids first. For their sake, put aside your personal emotions and everything that’s unfair. After all, you might not be able to “fix” it, but you can certainly do more damage. At all cost, consider, “What’s best for my child?”
B – Be open to changes. I know it’s hard to let go of the little things, but keep in mind: major on the majors, and minor on the minors. Sometimes we let ourselves stay in a tizzy when we just need to move on.
C – Communicate as respectfully as possible. Remember, your former husband is your kids’ dad. Children want to love both parents. Give them that opportunity. If you don’t, I promise it will turn on you later.
D – Decide what’s right. It’s ok to dislike your former spouse’s behavior, but you can’t dislike him as a person. You’ll need to yield this one to God over and over. Seeing him through God’s eyes puts a fresh perspective on everything.
E – Elevate your thoughts. Raise your level of self-control. When you want to stew over an injustice, praise God instead for it. Let your offenses be opportunities to ring the alarm bell in your mind to turn to God. It works every time!
Z– What happened to F-Y? I skipped them. Z – ZIP your mouth. Don’t hit below the belt with your words in front of your children about their dad. Why? It does three things: poisons the child, fuels your anger and displeases God.
So surrender. Let the worms out of your can by praying and asking God to help you find new ways to communicate well. Swallow what’s destructive (your pride, past grievances, the petty stuff) and make room for your heavenly Father to establish a resolution that works for all parties. A win-win for everyone is good.
About Pam Kanaly
Aloha! I’m Pam Kanaly, President and co-founder of Arise Ministries. But actually, I think Arise found me wanting to bless single moms years ago. Ministry was never on my mind as a kid. All I wanted to be was a hula dancer. So Mother enrolled me in the tiny tots’ class. Guess God knew I’d have two grandbabies born in Hawaii. I love the great outdoors. You might even find me spending time with my husband grizzly bear watching or camping. In fact, it was on a turkey hunt that God gave me the name Arise Ministries in 2002. I suppose it’s a good thing that I majored in Grammar in college since I love to write words of encouragement to single moms.