Co-parenting with those battling substance abuse

Co-parenting with those battling substance abuse

Co-parenting refers to continuation of an association with one’s ex, after separation or divorce, to ensure the availability of stable and secure environment for the children. Divorce or separation can be a painful phase in one’s life, but when he or she has to co-parent with a person in need of addiction treatment, it can be very challenging.

However, a couple of thoughtful steps can save a lot of heartburn, and also ensure a safe and harmonious environment for the children. The following tips can help a parent with primary custody to effectively carry out co-parenting with a person battling drug abuse, without compromising on the safety and well-being of their children:

Accepting reality: While it can get daunting to share the custody of a child with a person dependent on drugs, one must still be strong to accept this reality. Co-parenting must be facilitated to ensure that the children are brought up with both set of parents as it will help them grow into happy and secure individuals.

Educating the child:  Depending upon how old a child is, the parent with primary custody must try to educate the child about the kind of addiction that their other parent is struggling with. However, children are sensitive and impressionable therefore, one must never try to corrode their young minds with negativity about the other parent. This will only bring resentment in the co-parenting setup, but also deprive the child of the love and care of both parents.

Preparing children to deal with challenges: It is not possible for a parent with primary custody to be with their child all the time while he or she is with their drug-dependent partner. Therefore, it is inevitable that the child is prepared well in advance in case some uncomfortable situation arises. In case the child observes his or her  parent indulging in illegal substances , he or she must know how to get out of that situation by getting in touch with a close relative or a friend.

Signing a co-parenting agreement: Dealing with a person who is dependent of illicit substances can get very conflicting because a drug-dependent individual is accustomed to a life of lie and deceit. Therefore, to save the interest of all the parties, it is best to draft a co-parenting agreement with permissible and non-permissible clauses so that the abusive ex-partner feels a sense of responsibility when the child is around.

Practicing self-compassion: One must treat co-parenting as a business deal and not an emotional deal or otherwise, as it can cause a lot of anxiety and distress. Primary custodians must ensure themselves that they are doing their best in ensuring that their child gets a positive, secure and normal childhood and in doing so, even if they have to stop their child from meeting the drug-dependent parent, it is alright.

Road to recovery

Healing from a divorce can take time and when co-parenting issues surface, the process can get very challenging. Even while an individual tries his or her best to ensure that the children are least affected by all this turmoil, the ordeal can cause a lot of agony and stress.

If you know someone who is suffering from any mental health issue, contact Sovereign Health to find the best mental health facilities in the U.S. You can reach out to us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-973-7164 or chat online to know about the top mental health centers in your vicinity.

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