A healthy relationship between parents is the ultimate example for children and a template for their future relationships. Even in cases of separation or divorce, a positive and healthy co-parenting partnership will help to shape how children adapt to their own relationships and friendships. This is especially true when it comes to raising empowered daughters. One of the greatest joys in my life has been the relationship that I have with my daughter, who is now in her 20s.
To be honest, when her father and I separated and divorced years ago, I was worried how she would perceive future relationships. Fortunately, her father and I maintained a respectful co-parenting relationship that continued even when I re-married.
As a Collaborative family law attorney, certified divorce mediator, and co-parenting coach, I encourage families to create these types of positive co-parenting dynamics with their parenting partners. Co-parenting will always have its challenges; however, there are moments of reward too. For me, one of those gratifying moments was when I realized the co-parenting relationship that my husband and I formed with my daughter’s father provided a positive example for her and our other children. A strong and balanced co-parenting relationship can offer valuable lessons when it comes to raising empowered daughters by demonstrating aspects of communication, kindness, respect, and negotiation.
Children initially learn communication styles from their parents. If you and your co-parent use non-violent communication (NVC) tactics, this will teach your daughter to speak with empathy, respect, and understanding – even during difficult conversations. NVC is designed for communicators to listen as often as they speak, while sharing feelings, needs, and requests in a safe space without judgment.
“Treat others the way you want to be treated” has been a phrase I’ve repeated over the years in my household and in my law practice. Expressing kindness toward not only your parenting partner, but everyone around you, will show your daughter that no matter the situation – even in times of conflict or disagreement – it’s imperative to be kind.
Being respectful toward others is just as important as being respectful toward yourself. When parents pursue divorce, they often feel a sense of guilt. It’s a feeling that I can personally relate with too. However, parents ending a relationship because it wasn’t working, wasn’t healthy, or wasn’t bringing happiness, love, or joy is a sign of self-respect. Daughters need to know that they will sometimes have to make hard decisions – and having respect for themselves during the process is essential.
When choosing a Collaborative divorce with a collaboratively trained divorce attorney, negotiation techniques are present throughout the process. While your daughter won’t be involved in these roundtable discussions, she will see the result of a well-negotiated resolution. Clients often say that the skills they learned during the collaborative process has benefited them at home and at work. Some have become experts in negotiating requests from their children while also becoming skilled at negotiating a raise or time off at work. These are instrumental abilities that your daughter will pick up on and use in her own relationships and professional career.
We’re Here to Help
ROAD to RESOLUTION can help you effectively navigate your co-parenting journey. Our legal team can provide co-parenting guidance before, during, and after divorce. Please give us a call at (980) 260-1600 and we can discuss your legal options through divorce mediation and collaborative family law. Our Charlotte-based team is here to help you and your family in the Lake Norman area and beyond.