Co parenting can be a battlefield, a total war zone of insults, hate, and a child stuck in a fox hole, to scared to take sides. For those of you who don’t know what co parenting is, it’s when a divorced or split couple have shared custody of a child and they attempt to work together for the benefit of the child. In theory this sound like a win win situation and for some this works out very well, but what happens when one side is just using the minor child as a pawn in their master plan to make the other parents life miserable?
Everyday single parents go through this type of situation and unfortunately the child is caught in the cross fire. Two people so engulfed in hate for the other that the one thing that never had a choice is stuck in the middle, used as a pawn in this war they never asked to be started. The damage done to these kids will shape them into the adults they will eventually become, it’s like the experiment with houseplants one plant was raised and nurtured and told kind words everyday while the other was neglected and screamed at. One thrived and the other became wilted and dry, imagine a child growing up in a volatile situation, will that child thrive or wilt away?
I do not have children and God knows I don’t claim to be any kind of expert on the subject, but I have witnessed a mothers love for her child and a father’s bitterness and hate for that child’s mother and a child stuck in the middle of a bitter battle. I see this situation from the outside, but I see the pain it can cause everyone involved. I’ve held a mother as she cried for her baby to come home after a neglectful father kept her child for his own monetary benefit. I’ve hugged a stepfather who raised a sweet little boy into the bright young seven-year old he is today as he cried and screamed about the injustice done, by a biological father who left his son to be raised by his mother alone with little to no help.
I’ve seen two people who would do anything to protect, nurture, and care for this little boy who against every awful and hurtful thing his father has done and said has become a grade A student, a loving big brother, and all around amazing child. It breaks my heart when a child is stuck in the middle of a bitter battle they never asked to be apart of. A battle where no one really wins, a battle where no matter what side you take someone gets hurt.
When the hurtful words fly and the screaming starts, is anyone thinking of the small quivering child huddled in the corner crying because all he wants is for the fighting to stop? The child who thinks it’s all his fault, the child who just wants to make it better, but has no clue where to start. Sadly, when someone is vindictive and bitter they lose sight of the people they hurt, they don’t see how its effecting a child who didn’t ask for any of this. They just see the damage they can cause to the other parent, they just see the dollar signs from the income tax they can get from the child they could care less about. They only see for themselves.
Co parenting with a toxic parent, is awful, it makes life a living hell for everyone involved. At the end of the day co parenting should be about putting your differences aside and helping to raise a child in the best way possible, you put the squabbling aside and you do everything you can to make sure you are raising a productive member of society. A child should feel loved, cared for, and most of all safe. It’s not a child’s job to fix a parents problems and they shouldn’t be made to feel like they have to.
If you are a parent with shared custody a child, please put your bitterness and hate aside and just help raise your child with as much love as you can give. Imagine what they could become if they were raised in a household where they received nothing, but love from both parents. Imagine the man or woman they can become, help them become the change you want to see in yourself and others. Imagine what a life that would be if we could cease fire and save that child from the fox hole.