Co-Parenting and High Conflict

The key to amicable co-parenting is to focus on the best interests of the children.  This can be very difficult and it means that a parent’s emotions—any anger, resentment, or hurt—must take a back seat to the needs of the children.

A child’s happiness, stability, and future well-being should always be the main consideration, but unfortunately this does not always happen.

Common parenting mistakes include:

  • Sabotaging a child’s relationship with the other parent.
  • Using a child as a pawn to “get back at” or hurt the other parent.
  • Using a child to gain information or to manipulate and influence the other parent.
  • Transferring hurt feelings and frustrations toward an ex onto a child.
  • Forcing a child to choose a side when there’s a conflict in scheduling or another planning challenge.
  • Turning family events attended by both parents into pressure cookers.
  • Treating a child like an adult; depending too much on children for companionship and support.
  • Becoming so emotionally needy that a child develops feelings of guilt if he or she spends time or even wants to spend time with the other parent or grandparents.
  • Converting guilt over the divorce into overindulgence when it comes to satisfying a child’s material desires.

Two programs unique to CASA of the Pikes Peak Region — the Supervised Exchange and Parenting Time program and the Children and Families in Transition seminar — exist to keep children out of the middle of parental conflict during divorce or separation, and in cases of domestic violence.

The Supervised Exchange and Parenting Time (SEPT) program is designed to assure that a child can have safe contact with both parents. It eliminates visitation-related conflict between parents, assists in rebuilding healthy parent-child relationships and helps prevent child abuse.

The Children and Families in Transition (CFIT) seminar educates parents about the effects of divorce on children and how to reduce conflict to help their kids through the process in a proactive and positive manner. The CFIT class is required for all divorcing parents and allocation of parental responsibility cases in El Paso and Teller counties, with children between the ages of 0 and 18. Last year, 2,809 parents attended in person or took the class online.

For more information on CASA services and programs call 719-447-9898 x1000.

For information on volunteer opportunities in these programs call 719-447-9898 x1033