Co-Parenting With Your Abuser

Welcome to Right-On with HFG Happy Families Support Network Inc. (HFG)

HFG is a not-for-profit support group that provides ongoing support to women and children who have experienced abuse

HFG is a free support group for women and children who have experienced abuse, run by women who have experienced abuse

The topic for today is – Co-Parenting With Your Abuser

Parenting is the most difficult task we take on because there is no manual on how things should be done

Parenting is a process of trial and error and sometimes things come to you naturally and sometimes they don’t

Co-parenting with your abuser will be more difficult and you will always be under scrutiny, feeling like you’re in a fish bowl

There are highs, lows, triumphs, discipline/guidance in a regular day as a parent

But co-parenting with your abuser includes the added responsibility of following court orders and parenting agreements

Also imagine, parenting being made more difficult because of conflicting messages being given to your children

It’s your job to ensure your children aren’t placed in the middle of conflict when co-parenting with your abuser

How do you deal with your own fears and insecurities when co-parenting with your abuser?

How do you stay sane, keep your children safe and be the amazing parent you can be when co-parenting with your abuser?

Accept that your abuser need to see you down & suffering, so they will do everything in their power to keep you down

Understand that you will always be wrong no matter what you do or say to your abuser

Accept that you will always be wrong when dealing with your abuser…and move on, get over it

Get to know your emotional triggers and learn to deal with them so go don’t always get hurt

Some great strategies you can use to maintain sanity and peace when co-parenting with your abuser are:

  1. Keep a copy of all court orders & parenting agreements handy for quick reference when co-parenting with your abuser
  2. Stick to the schedule in the parenting agreement unless there is an emergency
  3. Keep communication with your abuser outside of court to a minimum and only things related to your children’s needs
  4. Communicate only through email so you’ll have a record of what was said
  5. Have it in your court order that communications between you and your abuser be only through email
  6. Make sure you save all conversations, emails, texts etc. between you and your abuser, for documented proof of what was said
  7. If you have to speak to your abuser by phone, don’t engage, hang up at the first insult and send an email instead
  8. Accept that you will never be right regardless of what you say to your abuser
  9. Prepare a monthly access calendar with access per parenting agreement and share with school and daycare
  10. Keep a copy of the monthly access calendar on hand for quick reference and to be able to make plans for you children
  11. Email a copy of the access calendar to your abuser every month to reduce confusion in scheduling
  12. Always verify information about your children from teachers, doctors, counselors, etc. and document all information
  13. TRUST yourself. Go with your gut feelings/intuitions, it’s usually the right way to go
  14. Be kind to yourself. You are only human after all. Mistakes are allowed because that’s how we learn
  15. Take charge of the process and paperwork of co-parenting with your abuser. Yes, it’s a lot of work. BUT… NO BUTS!
  16. Enjoy your time with your children. Create new routines and memories to make your time together very special
  17. Constantly tell your children you love them, but also show them you love them. Actions speak louder than words
  18. Show your children what real love is between families. Laugh and play a lot with your children
  19. Create a general safety plan with/for your children for when they don’t feel safe
  20. Practice the safety plan regularly with your children so they will be comfortable implementing it when needed
  21. Take your children to therapy if needed. A safe person to talk to and confide in, someone who can help when you can’t
  22. Be available to your children when they are with you. Actively listen to everything they say. BE IN THE MOMENT
  23. Make and enforce your own house rules. Your children need to know the homes are separate and you’re in charge of your home

It’s very important for you to reconnect with your inner self now that you are no longer with your abuser

Learn relaxation and visualization techniques to help you through the hard times and begin to create a new life for yourself

When your children are away take time to relax & make life all about you. You will feel energized and ready for all challenges

Your children will notice when you start taking care of yourself because you will be a happier YOU

Your children benefit most when you are relaxed and energized because you are better able to handle stress

Take a deep breath. Love your children, love yourself. Be the amazing parent you know you can be

Co-parenting with you abuser is hard work, but YOU CAN DO THIS!

BE STRONG. Remember you are doing this for your children

Please email comments and questions to right-on@hfgfamilies.com and join the conversation

Thanks for joining Right-On with HFG

We look forward to seeing you next Wednesday November 12 for our weekly Right-On conversation

The topic for next week is – Surviving After Abuse

Please email your questions and comments to right-on@hfgfamilies.com

If you would like more information on the HFG support group please email info@hfgfamilies.com

Have a great day! HFG Hugs!!

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