I watched a TedTalk about Co-Parenting that was absolutely fantastic. They share that parents should be allies - not adversaries. I found this to be very heartwarming; growing up my parents were divorced. Their co-parenting style was that of adversaries, not allies.
Reading this will be cringe-worthy. I would like to start off by saying that I am not throwing my parents under the bus - they did what they thought was right at the time.
When I was 5 years-old my mother decided that she could no longer live with my father. While my father was at work, she packed up our Jeep with my older sister (12 years-old), my little brother (3 years-old), and me. We drove 10 hours north to live with my grandparents. I remember being so excited to be on a road trip to see my grandparents, I remember singing Raffi for hours and hours - I didn't realize that everything was going to change. A few days later I remember my dad drove up to my grandparents house - he was (obviously) very upset.
Fast forward a few years later: My little brother goes to live with my dad while I live with my mom. We have a visitation schedule - I get to see my dad and my brother for a few weeks in the summer and for some holidays. Any comments about my mom or dad from my mom and dad are negative - I don't know if it was intentional or out of a place of hurt, but they were pinning us children against one another. This was more damaging to my thoughts about them than it ever was against the parent they were talking badly about.
Fast forward many years later: I love my family - I have worked through some serious trauma related to the separation, I know what I want and do not want in terms of my personal life regarding family, and I know that they love us kids and want the best for our lives.
The way that the parents talk in the TedTalk is wonderful - the one part that stuck out to me was their "daily affirmations" with their son. At approximately the 13 minute mark, together they say "I am great. I am awesome. I am amazing. I am thoughtful. I am kind. I am loving. I am caring. I am funny. I am smart...", I think that this is very powerful. I see the value in doing this with children, if you have a "broken home" or not. It is important for children to understand their value, it is important to talk to your children about what is going on around them, and it is important that your children know that you love them.
Thank you for reading - Feel free to share your thoughts.