“New Dad… Nobody Asks Me What I Think?”
I spoke with a young girl today and we were discussing the excitement and anticipation of Christmas. It was approaching fast and this year appears to have gone by so quickly. This was not a counselling session; just a casual conversation with a young friend.
A lot happened in your life this year.
Yah! I guess.
What did you like the most?
Summer time and my birthday pool party.
What didn’t you like so much about this year?
[A lengthened silence prior to her response]
Like… I’m happy to see my mom happy, but I don’t like that she got engaged. I like it but I don’t. I like him, he’s nice. But I don’t know what this means for me. I hear all these plans being made and no one asks how I feel. I’m happy I get to decorate my own room when we move though. Do I have to call him ‘dad’? What about my dad? Now I have two dads?
Sometimes parents attend to their own needs for love and companionship without having open communication with their children. This is especially true when parents determine their children are too young to have these types of conversations. Although we may attempt to keep our children’s best interests top of mind, when selecting and bringing a companion into their lives, it is still important to talk with our children, explore their feelings and concerns along with their positives.
When significant events happen in our lives, the strength of a co-parenting relationship can allow for the entire family to understand and celebrate special times. When the entire family takes part in open conversations, we foster improved understanding of each others’ view points, strengthen our connection as a family, and make adjusting to new members go more smoothly. In other words, we prevent frustrations and potential problems in advance.
Merging families sucessfully and enhancing co-parenting is best done with coaching from professional counsellors. After twenty years of working with families, experience helps families cope with and adjust to difficult life changes. At Jeff Packer MSW & Associates, areas of support include the following:
- Helping couples cope with separation/divorce, grieving and adjustment issues
- Family structure assessment and re-establishing effective roles and rules
- Establish a co-parenting communication plan and strategy
- Identify goals for raising children in the most healthy and appropriate manner
- Create safe and healthy boundaries between co-parents
- Develop positive relationships with co-parents’ romantic partners
- Improve communication skills; specifically, conflict resolution and problem-solving
- Assist with crucial conversations in a non-blaming and accepting environment
Call us today to improve post-separation adjustment and co-parenting relationships. Why? Because you and your children are worth it!