Parenting

3 books that helped me co-parent

Coping with the pain of divorce while learning how to co-parent is incredibly hard. These books showed me that it was possible.

By Julie McCann

3 books that helped me co-parent Photo: iStock

Throughout the painful process of divorce, my ex-husband and I have been equally committed to raising healthy kids and supporting each other as co-parents. It doesn’t mean it was easy though. I found these books enormously helpful.

3-books-that-helped-me-coparent Photo: Google Books

Parenting Apart, by Christina McGhee (Berkley Publishing Group, 2010)

In those early, dark days of my marriage’s end, McGhee’s book was a gentle, hopeful guide for how to keep our kids’ needs at the centre of every decision. She gave us a vocabulary—“on- or off-duty parent,” “parenting schedule,” “two-home concept”—that we baked into our new life and still use today.

Photo: Google Books Photo: Google Books

When Parents Part, by Penelope Leach (Alfred A. Knopf, 2015)

During my split, I relied on Leach’s small-but-wonderful divorce section in her 2010 book, Your Baby and Child (Alfred A. Knopf). Her book had been a trusted adviser through over the years, and it cheered me to have her steady voice move with us beyond preschool tantrums and into marital meltdowns. In When Parents Part, she further explores how parents can best be great moms and dads when they are no longer husbands and wives.

Photo: Amazon Photo: Amazon

When Things Fall Apart, by Pema Chodron (Shambhala, 1997)

While this is not a divorce book, Chodron writes about dealing with chaotic situations, pain and difficulties. I dog-eared almost every page. Chodron, a Buddhist nun, offers crisp and practical “heart advice” that even non-spiritual people with significant woes can use. Example: Fear is normal and can be our pal if we let it.

This article was originally published on Oct 04, 2016
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