From the Therapist's Desk

Healing Estrangement in Parent-Child Relationships Means Healing Estrangement Between Coparents

Healing estrangement between a parent and child requires hard work and perseverance. There is work for both the Primary Parent (PP) and for the Returning Parent (RP),

Answer the following questions as honestly as you can in assessing your level of preparedness for the journey ahead.

Choose 1 -2 - 3 - 4 for each questions:
1 Confident I have this skill
2 Still developing this skill
3 Don't have this skill
4 Open to help

Questions Returning Parent (RP) / Primary Parent (PP):

RP
I have the patience to start slowly and build increased parenting time as my child is able.
PP
I can support my child's need for a relationship with the RP.

RP
I can commit to consistency in parenting time.
PP
I can commit to preparing my child for shared parenting consistently.

RP & PP
I will not abandon my parenting time plan at the first sign it isn't working.

RP & PP
I can protect my child from conflict between myself and the other parent.

RP & PP
I will not ask my child to take sides.

RP
I am prepared to discuss my absence/behavior with my child and with my coparent without blaming.
PP
I am prepared to support the RP in the discussion about his or her absence/behavior with my child.

RP & PP
I am willing to participate in counseling either individually or with my child to facilitate reunification.

RP
I have remedied past unsafe behaviors; improved my parenting and coparenting skills; and taken responsibility for my part in the challenges in my relationship with my coparent and with my child.

PP
I have taken responsibility for my part in the challenges in my relationship with my coparent and with my child; and I am prepared to move forward in a positive way.

RP & PP
I can set aside my personal feelings for my child's other parent.

This process can be incredibly rewarding for your child. They can emerge a better adjusted child with the ability to have love and guidance from two parents.