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'Conscious' co-parenting is not for everyone

You have likely come across the term “conscious uncoupling” over the past few weeks. Since Gwyneth Paltrow used the term to describe her approach to splitting from her husband, the media has dissected, critiqued and debated this term repeatedly.

Many individuals have been turned off by this term because they believe it to be smug and out-of-touch with the realities of divorce and co-parenting. In truth, some co-parents benefit from this kind of self-focused healing and release while others do not or cannot.

Every marriage is unique. As is every co-parenting relationship. When it comes to matters of child custody, it is the child’s best interests that matter. Some parents are able to best advocate for their child’s needs and their own needs by engaging in co-parenting relationships that are defined by a conscious uncoupling approach. Others cannot or would not benefit from this kind of approach.

Please understand that it is within your power to make the healthiest decisions possible for your family. While it may be frustrating that others do not share or even understand your approach, it is yours to own, define and refine.

Whether you co-parent in an open, relaxed and friendly way, whether you barely speak to your co-parent or whether you are parenting completely on your own, please do whatever is in your child’s best interests and your family’s best interests. Beyond that intention, if your child is healthy, happy and well cared for, your approach is nobody’s business but your own and perhaps your co-parent’s.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Not Everyone Should Try to Consciously Co-Parent. Here's Why,” Virginia Gilbert, April 8, 2014

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