Isaac Farin Featured in Big Blended Family
Our readers send questions through facebook and email regularly, and we often ask counselors to field them, especially if a professional can lend a viewpoint that we can’t. Miami-based Marriage and Family Therapist Isaac Farin, who counsels families impacted by divorce, offered these wise words to our reader:
Question: I have 75% custody of my 5-year-old son and he lives with his dad the other 25%. My ex-husband has been bothering me lately by wanting to make decisions about where our son goes to school and camp, and what extra-curricular activities he participates in. I think I have a much better understanding of which Kindergarten would be best for our son, which summer camps, and which sports, and since he lives with me most of the time, I’ve registered him for school, camp and soccer. My ex is upset that I made these decisions without him, but how can I help him understand I did what is best for our son and he shouldn’t worry?
Answer: Divorce and/or separation can be very difficult on the family and especially the children. It is very important for the parents to have an open line of effective communication to make this difficult process more manageable. In my work with families who are referred from the courts for co-parenting issues, I often encourage them to think of the children first and this lessens the differences between the parents. The families that have taken this advice have learned to co-parent quite effectively and those that have not continue to struggle.
In your case, your intentions are clearly genuine, but part of effective co-parenting is making sure to involve the other parent. Remember, it is about the child and not about the parent. So, even if you inform your ex of what you are thinking while you are making a decision, it will allow him to feel that he is important and that his opinion may be valid. Ultimately, since you have 75% custody, your decision is most likely to be the final one.
Let him know that your decisions are clearly with the best intentions and that you will involve him more in the near future.
Original Article: http://www.bigblendedfamily.com/q-a-mom-grapples-with-co-parenting/