Children and Conflict Series Part 9

Parenting Commitment Statement:

Creating a Parenting Commitment Statement helps you focus on parenting your children in the present and can help guide your behavior during challenging times and disagreements with your parenting partner.  You can do this with your parenting partner or alone.  Focus on your values as a parent and what you believe your children deserve and need from you.  Write your commitment statement in terms your children can understand, share it with them and post it where you and your children can see it on a daily basis.  You may also choose to define specific behaviors which support your commitment statement.

Sample joint parenting commitment statement: Our children are our first priority.  We believe each of us is vitally important to our children’s development and well-being.  We are committed to maintaining positive and meaningful relationships with our children and being significantly involved in their lives.  We are dedicated to providing our children healthy, safe, and respectful homes and we accept our individual parenting styles and choices.

Sample individual parenting commitment statement: Austin and Ashley are my first priority.  I understand that my relationship with my children exists separately from their relationship with their father.  I am committed to maintaining positive and meaningful relationships with both children and being significantly involved in their lives.  I am dedicated to providing a healthy, safe, and respectful home.  I believe their father and I are equally and vitally important to their development and well-being.  I accept that our parenting styles are different and although I do not always agree with my parenting partner, I will not undermine my parenting partner’s decisions.  In their presence, I talk positively about their father and encourage them to have a loving and open relationship with him, their stepmother and new sister.

Parenting Partner Behaviors:

  • We talk respectfully to each other in front of our children.
  • We talk respectfully about each other to the children, our families and our mutual friends.
  • We communicate regularly, openly and honestly.
  • Our communication is business-like: polite, courteous, and non-emotional.
  • We proactively share information about our children.
  • Our communication is focused on issues relating to the children.
  • We allow and encourage our children to communicate regularly with each of us.
  • We remove ourselves from negative conversations & communications.
  • We do not involve nor expose our children to parenting disputes.
  • We make ourselves available to each other’s requests and concerns.
  • We seek each other’s input and opinions.
  • We agree to develop and maintain an appropriate level of consistency between our homes in terms of rules, expectations, and discipline.
  • We offer each other the first right of refusal before arranging alternate child care.
  • We offer schedule flexibility and accommodate each other’s reasonable requests.
  • We honor our commitments.
  • We behave with common courtesy and civility at school, sports, and other events.
  • We respect each other’s separate lives and households.

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