Cracking co-parenting puzzle for kids’ sake
Betty Muindi @BettyMuindi
Following Father’s Day events the weekend of June 21, social media platforms were filled with emotional messages, photos and videos to honour biological fathers, step-fathers, spiritual fathers and all men who play the critical role of father figures.
But of interest was how parents, who for one reason or another are forced to parent their children separately celebrated the day.
While some women went ahead to wish the day to themselves and threw mean and bitter comments at their baby daddys, others set the Gram ablaze with amazing Father’s Day messages, telling their children’s father’s how much they hold them in high esteem, and proved that co-parenting actually works.
TV personality and YouTuber Betty Kyalo and her ex-husband Dennis Okari, wowed netizens when on Father’s Day, which also doubled up as their daughter, Ivanna’s birthday, showed how they have cracked the co-parenting puzzle.
The two previously had an online run-in in which they exchanged bitter lines about raising their daughter, but they have since patched up things and resolved to amicably raise their daughter.
The former K24 news anchor a few weeks ago revealed on Bonga na Jalas YouTube show that the two have since mended fences and are now on speaking terms as they focus on Ivanna.
Gospel artiste Betty Bayo lighted the net with a special message she dedicated to her estranged husband; the controversial pastor Victor Kanyari.
The musician acknowledged the role her husband has taken in the bringing up of their children despite their fall out, which was occasioned by the pastor hitting the headlines for the wrong reasons back in 2014.
“Happy fathers days to the father of my kids. You may not be a good husband, but you are a good dad... You have made co-parenting soo easy and fun and you’re the least of my worries.
One thing I promised you is I’ll never teach my kids to disrespect you. You may not be the prefect dad, mine was badest... I make sure they pray for you everyday for God to keep you safe. They better have 310 guy as a father than none... ,” she said.
Another celebrity couple, YouTuber Maureen Waititu and her ex-boyfriend and gym instructor, Frankie Kiarie aka JustGymit also recently celebrated their son’s birthday at her house, clearly showing that co-parenting actually works.
So what are some of the boundaries you need to set to have an amicable co-parenting relationship.
Phylis Amayo a single mother of two, who has been co-parenting with her baby daddy for six years now says he finally found peace when she stopped hoping for something more.
“If he never wanted to commit before you got pregnant, what makes you think he will want to do that today? Making peace with the fact that he may not be around the way you would want him to be makes everything better.
Yes he may come around because he has changed, but don’t be the one to pursues him. If a man wants to be part of your life nothing will stop him,” she says.
Coming up with a plan
Relationship experts say trying to be civil around your child’s father is possibly the single most difficult thing that one ever has to do.
And it takes a lot of work for two parents to get to the point where they can say their co-parenting relationship is going really well.
Relationships counsellor and pastor, Selina Nzioka says it starts with both parties to decide whether they want a better relationship with each other.
“Ask yourself if you are doing it so that your child can have a relationship with their other parent, whether you are tired of the constant fighting and argument or do you just want to be the bigger person?
Figure it out and don’t push for a better relationship with your child’s father or mother until you realise the true reason you want it,” she quips.
She also advices parents whose relationships ended badly or have legitimate reasons to be angry or bitter with their co-parents to first of all find a way of letting the bitterness go away for there to be a peaceful co-parenting arrangement.
Nzioka says coming up with a plan is also a good way to keep you both grounded and focused such as regular visitation, child support, how to split responsibilities and although it can be a painful conversation, it is a necessary one and neither one of you would be trying to read each other’s mind.
“Sit down and have an open conversation with each other. You can go to a public place and have lunch, especially if you anticipate an argument or confrontation.
Be open and honest about your desire to have a better and more positive relationship with them for save of your child,” she explains.