It is HARD work to parent in a conscious, respectful, gentle, attachment-focused way. It takes a deep conviction about what you believe children need and what generational cycles you are determined to break. You put your whole heart into it.
So what are you supposed to do when your partner or co-parent is not doing the same?
And what will it mean if they don't? Will your efforts be for naught?
First, do not panic.
Our attachment systems are wired to experience different things from different caregivers and adapt accordingly. If you are able to relate to your children with deep connection and attunement, and your partner or co-parent is not, the main thing that will affect is their relationship to your child.
Yes, it would benefit your child if the other parent did their work too and learned how to parent through connection. So what can you do to move towards that?
Start with connection. Get curious. Not in an investigative reporter kind of way, in a "I really believe you have valid perspectives I can learn from" kind of way. Ask them about their goals for your kids. What do they want to facilitate in your littles. Ask about what fears motivate their choices etc. And try to collaborate with them on those goals and fears instead of trying to persuade them to think the way you do.
Remember that the most powerful form of influence we have with our children is the ways we behave and how we model things. Same is true for our other relationships. Model what you can and if your partner is someone capable of growth and change they will see how it works and want to learn too. Inspire them, don't lecture them, or degrade their way of doing things.
p.s. If your partner is emotionally, physically or sexually abusive to you or your children, this collaborative approach will not work. And your children need you to seek domestic violence specific support1-800-799-7233
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