Posts tagged ‘Family’

December 11, 2010

Conscious Co-parenting: Do It for the Kids

by Donya B

conscious coparentingIn the past week, I’ve run across different versions of this scenario, so I thought I’d share it with you… Co-Parenting.  It’s a new title that’s come to life in the last 15 years or so, but is a concept as old as time.  You share a child with someone, but you aren’t a couple.  You’re co-parents.  This is a different kind of relationship that I have yet to get into here, but is certainly worthy of a nod.

The Co-parenting Mix

There are quite a few relationships involved in co-parenting.  There’s the primary parent/child, secondary parent/child, primary/secondary parent, parents/new partners, parent/co-parent’s partner and child/parents’ partners…  That’s a huge web and we’re not even going to get into siblings.  But if you do have more than one child, thus more than one web, you’ve really got your hands full!  How on earth do you juggle the issues that come with each of these relationships and keep your sanity (well, most of it) all at the same time?   Prayer.  Meditation.  Hyperbaric chamber.  Whatever form of quietude that works for you.  But overall, peace – and consciously working to achieve it daily – is the key.

I have a good relationship with my co-parents.  I know it’s an anomaly in this day and age, but it’s true.  We converse civilly, we share information openly about our child, and our time and support arrangement works beautifully.  I can’t complain.  We differ slightly on parenting styles, but overall, we’re a very cohesive unit.  Unfortunately, not everyone can say they’re at that point.  Fathers who don’t show up for their weekends, mothers who don’t let the child speak to their father because he hasn’t sent a check, stepdads that disregard the children, stepmoms that can’t speak a good word about the birth mom… It’s sad, it’s infuriating, sometimes it’s downright ridiculous the way these “adults” carry on!

Co-parenting Consciously

If there is one soapbox I can stand on, it’s this: Children are smarter than we give them credit for and they are resilient sponges that become mirrors of their parents.  So take heed to these tips for co-parenting consciously:

  1. Money and the love of a child are not the same thing.  If he’s not sending money, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t love his child.  If he has time to spend with him/her, accept that!  Your child will appreciate the time and positive relationship far more than the money, and that’s what matters.
  2. Children are not pawns.  Your child is your life. Cherish that.  The relationship you build with them is nurtured by the things you do and say around them.  Using them to “get back at” your X does nothing but weaken, if not destroy, your relationship in the long run.
  3. Communication is the key in every relationship, especially this one.  The way you speak to your X around your children is the way your children will perceive your X.  If you speak to her like she’s stupid, your children will come to see her as weak and stupid.  If you don’t even speak to him, they will think its okay not to speak to him.  Give each parent their due respect.  It is just as important to watch what you say as it is to watch how you say it!
  4. Realize that you are no more perfect than your X.  Yes, she screwed up royally, but that doesn’t make her a bad mother.  Yes, he made a huge mess out of things, but that doesn’t mean you’re always right.  You both made and will continue to make mistakes.  Neither of you gets to wear the crown because at some point, it’s going to fall off of your head too.  Put the focus on being the best you can be for your child and dump the rest.  This time, it really isn’t all about you.

These are just a few of the ways I maintain the peace with my co-parents. Do you have any suggestions for other ways to improve the co-parenting relationship? Please share them in the comments.


Ms. De

About Donya:

Donya Vaughn is a So Cal native, collegiate of San Diego State University and graduate of the University of Life, mastering in “Wow, That Was Harder Than It Needed To Be”. Known to her close friends as “The Walking Encyclopedia”, Donya prides herself in being helpful, knowledgeable and ready to serve. She uses these traits along with unwavering optimism and Christian good spirit regularly as owner and consultant of As You Like… Wedding & Event Services.

September 14, 2010

Not Going To Let Her “Take It There”

by Vonda Howard

Hey Vonda,

I hope this letter finds you well.  I’ll get right to my question.  I am the mom of a beautiful, yet nerve strangling 16 year old girl.  Now, I say that, but she really doesn’t give me any other issues that any other normal teen girl would.  I have noticed that recently she has taken in interest in one particular little boy.  I taught my daughter well about standards, so he is not a “thug” or a “hoodrat”.  I actually met him a few times and he is a very well mannered young man.

Herein lies the issue…I was coming out of the bathroom and overheard her and a girlfriend that was visiting at the time, talking about this boy.  Her girlfriend asked her if they were going to “take it there” and she answered that she was thinking about it!!  I cannot say how mortified I was!

Vonda, we have a great relationship and we talk about everything, but she has not come to me about any of this.  Sure, we talk about boys and crushes, but she hasn’t said a word about having sex.  I had a friend tell me to, in essence, snoop on her (i.e. read her diary, listen to her calls, etc.) and I am not sure how I feel about that.  I want to give my daughter some level of privacy, but I want to make sure she is on the right path also.  What do you think?

Dear “Not Going To Let Her “Take It There”,

I can totally understand how hearing these things can set you into panic mode because I have a teen daughter myself.

First, I applaud you for not bursting into her room and losing your mind when you heard it.  From what I read in your letter, it sounds like you have done a great job raising her.  It’s natural for a girl her age to begin to start wondering about sex and boys and you want to make sure you keep the relationship open like it is now.  The LAST thing you want to do is destroy any trust between the two of you.  Snooping in her diary and listening to her calls would do just that.  The best way to handle this in my opinion is to reiterate to her that she can talk to you about any and everything.  Plan some Girl’s Day Outs, go out to dinner together and engage her in conversations.  You DON’T want to come down on her for something she may not have even done yet.  Don’t let on that you heard or know anything, just start some conversations about sex as a whole and of course how to stay safe.  Frankly, you only really heard one small piece of the conversation, “take it there” could mean something totally different from what you are thinking.

You can also set someone both of you trust (a Aunt, older cousin, friend) in her path too to be that extra ear also.  This way, if there is something that she may be a little uncomfortable talking with you about, she has another trusted outlet to go to.  Like you said, you talk about everything and she has not said a word about having sex.

Take it from someone that got “snooped” on, it is a MAJOR breech of trust and privacy and it will only put a huge gap between you and make things a whole lot more difficult.  Good luck!


About the Author: Vonda Howard is the author of the new hot book series, The D-Cup Divas™, a graphic designer of her own graphic design firm, Cupcake Creative Studio, mom to two, wife to her one and only and a domestic goddess (not really…LOL). She does not profess to be an expert, but just that one opinionated girlfriend you go to for the straight nitty-gritty. So just relax and enjoy. ;o) Do you have a question? Send it to this and you may get featured!

September 8, 2010

No Pay, No Play…

by Vonda Howard

Dad and Son

Hey Vonda,

I am the mom to 2 beautiful little boys, ages 6 and 3.  Their dad and I have recently ended our 7 year relationship and it wasn’t all that of a friendly break up.  We maintain a cordial relationship when the boys are around, but recently our “relationship” has taken a nasty turn because he has slacked off on his child support responsibilities.  For a while, I assumed he was a decent human being and would take care of his kids without the help of the courts, but he has proved me wrong.  It has been almost four months since he has given me a decent payment and he even missed two of them.  Yes, he said he lost his job and found one where he is making a lot less than he was before, but why is that MY problem?  So, I decided that if he can’t step up and be a man and take care of his kids the way he is supposed to, then he won’t see them until he does.  Am I wrong, Vonda?

No Pay, No Play

Dear No Pay, No Play,

I’m about to say somethings you may not want to hear.  YES, you are dead wrong. Frankly, it sounds to me like you are still a little pissed off at him and making him pay the price.  There are quite a few more things a man can give to his sons other than money.  In my opinion, his presence is worth a lot more.  I actually think it is a shame that with all the children that have dads that DON’T contribute and DON’T want to spend time with their kids, YOU are actually PREVENTING him from spending time with his.

Trust me, I understand the costs of taking care of kids, I have two of my own, but you cannot stop that man from seeing his children if he is making a truly conscious effort to see them and be in their lives.  Frankly, you are being petty.  Yep, I said it…petty.  If you continue this behavior where you use your kids to get back at him because you are angry, not only will your kids pay the price by not having their dad in their lives, but you will later on too.  Money doesn’t raise kids, loving and responsible parents do!

The two of you need to act like adults and sit down to come up with a payment schedule that you both can agree to.  If THEN it still doesn’t work, you can go ahead and take it to the courts, but let that man see his boys!  Why not set an example of mutual respect and cooperation for them?  Don’t put them in the middle of your romantic relationship!


About the Author: Vonda Howard is the author of the new hot book series, The D-Cup Divas™, a graphic designer of her own graphic design firm, Cupcake Creative Studio, mom to two, wife to her one and only and a domestic goddess (not really…LOL). She does not profess to be an expert, but just that one opinionated girlfriend you go to for the straight nitty-gritty. So just relax and enjoy. ;o) Do you have a question? Send it to this and you may get featured!

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