In the world of two homes, children often crave stability and consistency as their foundational safe place. As a parent, providing these crucial elements can have a profound impact on your child's well-being and development, as well as the trust a child feels in your relationship.
4 Ways To Show Stability and Consistency As The Compassionate Co-Parent In Mediation:
1. Maintaining Healthy Lifestyle:
Children thrive on routine. Establishing daily schedules with consistent wake-up times, meal routines, bedtime rituals, and designated study hours can provide a sense of predictability. This stability helps children feel safe and in control of their surroundings.
It will also be vital to show you have created a full life for the children through activities, camps, etc. This shows you value their social development and care about their well-being. Additionally, consider how you have maintained their wellness routine with up-to-date medical and dental visits. Or, if your child has special needs show how you have maintained their support services.
Many times the high-conflict co-parent neglects the child’s basic needs and is unable to provide proper care for the children. The child may show up tired or miss school altogether without an excuse. The HCCP may not show up to doctor appointments or refuse special needs services, or they may even place the child in the position to take care of them emotionally or physically - this is known as parentification. Parentification is where the parent-child role is switched and this is detrimental to the healthy development of children.
2. Reliable Caregivers:
Children feel most secure when they have dependable caregivers. Whether you're a single parent or co-parenting, ensure that your child knows who to turn to for support, guidance, and love. Be present, both physically and emotionally, as this reassures your child of your unwavering commitment.
Often the high conflict is unpredictable and not always reliable as a parent. In positioning, why you are the best parent, you will want to point out patterns of behavior that display them in and out of the child’s life, constantly making changes, canceling parenting time, or having issues with substance usage or uncontrollable anger.
3. Maintaining a Safe Environment:
Your child's physical and emotional safety is paramount. Create a secure home environment by not exposing the children to violence, drugs and alcohol, or inappropriate content. Ensuring the children have proper care as well when hiring sitters they know and trust will be essential to their safety and feeling secure in their home.
It is not uncommon for the HCCP to expose children to inappropriate environments, such as violent environments, sexually explicit films, heavy drinking or partying, or using the kids as their therapist. This creates distrust in the parent and the children will develop coping mechanisms like lying or suppressing emotions to protect themselves from the unsafe parent.
4. Consistency in Parenting Time:
If you're co-parenting, consistency of parenting time is vital to the children’s well-being. If you have been the primary caregiver then it will be important to show how you have maintained consistency in taking care of the children and have been a stable figure in their life.
If the HCCP has been in and out of the children’s lives, fails to show up for parenting time, is constantly switching parenting time to fit their personal needs, or has been absent for a period of time, then you’ll need to show their lack of ability to provide for the child a stable routine.
In the grand scheme of co-parenting and preparing for mediation, what matters most is showing stability and consistency for your child. These crucial elements help them develop a strong sense of self and emotional security within the children. By implementing healthy lifestyles, providing reliable caregivers, maintaining a safe environment, and ensuring consistency in parenting time, you'll create an environment where your child can thrive and grow showing you are what is in the child’s best interest. Your efforts to provide stability and consistency will be valuable in mediation.
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