In all of my years as a therapist, co-parent specialist, and mediator, the most heart breaking moments for me have been when children have said things like:
>>Why does my dad brag about me in public, but tear me down at home?
>>My mom said she can’t lose custody of me because what would people think?
>>If I act like I love my dad, you might tell the judge, and my mom couldn’t handle that.
>>My dad said he has to fight for me, but it just feels like he’s fighting about me.
>>My mom cares more about my cheerleading than I do!
And my favorite from an astute teenager:
>>My dad needs me to look good for him, so I throw him a bone now and then, but I try not to lose myself in that.
Kids deserve their own identity by taking the best parts of their parents for themselves. Your best part is not your image. It’s your character.
For more helpful co-parenting advice, listen to Co-Parent Dilemmas at www.CPDilemmas.com, or wherever you get your podcasts.