Skip to main content

Wisconsin Parent

The Art of Co-Parenting

Dec 23, 2013 06:33AM, Published by Brooke McGee, Categories:




Raising children is hard work. Without a giant manual to walk us through the nuances of our kids' lives, we come to terms with things like hindsight and humility and more love than the human heart can hold. With so many parenting beliefs and ways to "raise" children, it's sometimes hard not to compare or pass judgment. Today's guest post centers in on the subject of co-parenting and the idea of working together as adults. We're interested in your take on this subject; please leave a comment if you want to weigh in.

One thing always has and always will bring a smile to my face—when I witness a fading art— two adults co-parent kindly with the other half of an influential child’s life. Sadly, I often see  parents uncooperative. Sometimes they are the parent with the legal right to choose (because it is their custody day), not necessarily because they are deciding what is in their offspring’s best interest. Sometimes, we just don’t want to cooperate, even if it’s your spouse.There is a natural tendency to crave control in our lives. We need to have some sort of influence in the meager areas we actually have control of. However, it often reaps tragic results when that control is craved so fiercely that the rights of others are stomped on. The result—emotional pain to all involved that could have been avoided. Caught in the middle: the kids. As parents, we should be better than this.

When did it become okay to tell another competent parent they can’t use their best judgment when it comes to their child? It makes sense to me, (that’s just me of course) that a balanced, healthy parent would keep in mind safety and take into consideration the emotional health of their child. No matter how it happens, by the result of divorce or single parent homes with visitation, it happens. We have lost faith in one another. We distrust the other half. We judge. Or a judge tells us.IMG_0444Sharing a child. I can hardly even write that. When a miracle is made, when you see those two lines on a test, the thoughts you have at the moment are not “someday I will have to share you.” With the exception of a babysitter, no devoted parent wants their child to be handed over, leaving you at the mercy of someone else’s judgment. Maybe it’s because you have 50/50, maybe your just even going to work while the parent is home. But, it doesn’t matter. Decisions need to be made together, and that, is the dying art.

There comes a time when all parents are forced to realize their children have grown. We feel anxious, and actually, that’s okay. It shows responsibility, it shows we care. Eventually we need to suck it up and trust not only ourselves but them. Parents, year by year, length the proverbial leash, we give our children more freedom each year.

While they are growing, these young eyes are watching and learning. No doubt about it, these apples more often than not fall close to the tree. We are leading by example. Do we want to make our children feel they can’t trust their other parent? They look to us for guidance, strength and leadership. By our words and actions we show them more than we realize.IMG_0264Let’s flip the coin and talk about the adults—adult style. What happens when we tell someone they are not good enough, not smart enough, incompetent? I know how I feel. I feel like I don’t want to try. Just because I’m a grown up doesn’t mean that “words will never hurt me.” Because they do. A lot. Words have power. Words can be self-fulfilling prophecies. Use the right words and a parent who believed they were truly doing their best, well, you can break their spirit too. While your children watch.

Sometimes letting go brings a freedom not only to yourself but to those who matter the most.  By trusting someone who truly does have good intentions, you allow them to live up to the potential they can be.  Unrestrained, you allow them to soar.

Brooke McKeeThis story was written by Brooke McGee. In addition to her talents as a freelance writer, Brooke is an equally gifted artist. She lives in Portage, Wisconsin.




parenting coparenting raising children


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • Homeschool Community Meet-up

    01/24/2017
    01:00PM — 03:00PM

    An opportunity to meet, mingle, play, talk and learn with other homeschooling families and the Yo...


  • R.E.A.D. Dog Program

    01/25/2017
    03:30PM — 04:30PM

    Sign-up for a 15-minute session with a certified R.E.A.D. team. It's a great way for children to ...


  • Annual Dinner

    01/25/2017
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    Join the Chamber as they celebrate the Business, Citizen & Non-Profit of the Year for 2016 on Jan...


  • Join us Wednesday, January 25, from 6-7 p.m. to learn about registration process, open enrollment...


  • FAMILY EVENT: Morning Play Date

    01/26/2017
    10:00AM — 11:00PM

    Spend a morning meeting new friends at DreamBank. While the kids enjoy interactive story time and...


  • FAMILY EVENT: Family Nutrition

    01/28/2017
    09:30AM — 12:00PM

    What better way to kick start the new year by helping your little one create healthy habits? Join...


  • Fam Jam

    01/28/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    Monona Terrace is proud to present Fam Jam - a family-fun-day featuring giant inflatable stations...


  • The Wonder Bread Years

    01/28/2017
    02:00PM

    A fresh and funny salute to Americana, The Wonder Bread Years starring John McGivern, is a fast-p...


  • BDACT Annual Celebration

    01/28/2017
    05:00PM

    The public is invited to attend the annual end of season celebration for the Beaver Dam Area Comm...


  • The Wonder Bread Years

    01/28/2017
    07:30PM

    A fresh and funny salute to Americana, The Wonder Bread Years starring John McGivern, is a fast-p...


  • Waukesha Janboree "Flake Out" Family Concert

    01/22/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    What will your kids tell their friends after they've conducted the Philharmonic? Sing along to "L...


  • Sweet Dreams and Honky Tonks

    01/22/2017
    02:30PM

    See country's biggest names come to life! Sweet Dreams and Honky Tonks is a new musical revue tha...


  • Sweet Dreams and Honky Tonks

    01/22/2017
    07:30PM

    See country's biggest names come to life! Sweet Dreams and Honky Tonks is a new musical revue tha...


  • Sweet Dreams and Honky Tonks

    01/22/2017
    07:30PM

    See country's biggest names come to life! Sweet Dreams and Honky Tonks is a new musical revue tha...


  • Homeschool Community Meet-up

    01/24/2017
    01:00PM — 03:00PM

    An opportunity to meet, mingle, play, talk and learn with other homeschooling families and the Yo...


  • R.E.A.D. Dog Program

    01/25/2017
    03:30PM — 04:30PM

    Sign-up for a 15-minute session with a certified R.E.A.D. team. It's a great way for children to ...


  • Annual Dinner

    01/25/2017
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    Join the Chamber as they celebrate the Business, Citizen & Non-Profit of the Year for 2016 on Jan...


  • Join us Wednesday, January 25, from 6-7 p.m. to learn about registration process, open enrollment...


  • FAMILY EVENT: Morning Play Date

    01/26/2017
    10:00AM — 11:00PM

    Spend a morning meeting new friends at DreamBank. While the kids enjoy interactive story time and...


  • The Wonder Bread Years

    01/27/2017
    02:00PM

    A fresh and funny salute to Americana, The Wonder Bread Years starring John McGivern, is a fast-p...


  • For the third year ever, the Godfather Daniel Buchner brings you WINTER SUCKS ROCK DOES NOT night...


  • The Wonder Bread Years

    01/27/2017
    07:30PM

    A fresh and funny salute to Americana, The Wonder Bread Years starring John McGivern, is a fast-p...


  • FAMILY EVENT: Family Nutrition

    01/28/2017
    09:30AM — 12:00PM

    What better way to kick start the new year by helping your little one create healthy habits? Join...


  • Fam Jam

    01/28/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    Monona Terrace is proud to present Fam Jam - a family-fun-day featuring giant inflatable stations...


  • The Wonder Bread Years

    01/28/2017
    02:00PM

    A fresh and funny salute to Americana, The Wonder Bread Years starring John McGivern, is a fast-p...


  • BDACT Annual Celebration

    01/28/2017
    05:00PM

    The public is invited to attend the annual end of season celebration for the Beaver Dam Area Comm...


  • The Wonder Bread Years

    01/28/2017
    07:30PM

    A fresh and funny salute to Americana, The Wonder Bread Years starring John McGivern, is a fast-p...


  • Mr. Pickles Reads to You

    01/29/2017
    03:00PM

    It won't take long for you to be charmed by the infectiously bubbly Mr. Pickles! Listen as he rea...


  • Special Touch Beaver Dam Chapter meeting

    02/03/2017
    06:15PM — 08:00PM

    The meeting will start at 6:15pm with tacos. After singing we will do the " Word Walk" "Mercy -...


  • Flick N' Float

    02/03/2017
    07:00PM — 08:30PM

    Family Adventure Pool Doors open at 6:45 pm Movie starts at 7:00 pm Members: FREE Non Mem...


  • Random Acts of Comicality

    02/03/2017
    08:00PM

    Due to popular demand, the Hartford Players’ smash-hit musical revue is back with all new materia...


  • FAMILY EVENT: Engineering for Kids

    02/04/2017
    09:30AM — 12:00PM

    When it comes to engineering, kids are naturals! Drop into DreamBank and cultivate your child’s...


  • Saturday Science at Discovery

    02/04/2017
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    Science and sports collide during this free event held on the first Saturday of every month! Expl...


  • Random Acts of Comicality

    02/04/2017
    08:00PM

    Due to popular demand, the Hartford Players’ smash-hit musical revue is back with all new materia...


  • Spring Storytime: Family Storytime

    02/06/2017
    09:30AM — 10:15AM

    Enjoy stories, songs, rhymes, movement, dramatics and more with Miss Sarah while building early l...


  • Spring Storytime: Toddler Time

    02/06/2017
    10:30AM — 11:00AM

    Enjoy stories, songs, rhymes, movement, dramatics and more with Miss Sarah while building early l...


  • FAMILY EVENT: Morning Play Date

    02/09/2017
    10:00AM — 11:00AM

    Spend a morning meeting new friends at DreamBank. While the kids enjoy interactive story time and...


  • Orthopedic & Arthritis Lunch & Learn

    02/09/2017
    11:30AM — 01:30PM

    Join us for a FREE LUNCH on February 9th and learn about arthritis, joint replacement and the Pra...


  • Random Acts of Comicality

    02/10/2017
    08:00PM

    Due to popular demand, the Hartford Players’ smash-hit musical revue is back with all new materia...


  • Winter Day At The Park

    02/11/2017
    08:00AM — 04:00PM

    A Winter Day at the Park: Model Horse Show ADS Sleigh Competition Bobsled Rides Skijoring Com...


  • FAMILY EVENT: Valentine’s Day Celebration

    02/11/2017
    09:30AM — 12:00PM

    Roses are red, violets are blue, DreamBank is excited for Valentine’s Day – how about you? Get in...


  • American Hero & Ice Queen

    02/11/2017
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    Calling all Superheros and Princesses - join us for a magical time! Crafts Face Painting Refr...


  • Random Acts of Comicality

    02/11/2017
    02:00PM

    Due to popular demand, the Hartford Players’ smash-hit musical revue is back with all new materia...


  • With a focus on the Cretaceous Period, Dr. T-Rex takes you on a tour through the Mesozoic Era — t...



Special Thanks to These Relaunch Partners


Woodman's Markets - Employee Owned
Greater Green Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau