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Conquering Parent Guilt with TalkingParents

How TalkingParents can help you cope with parent guilt as a co-parent.

Whether they admit it or not, most parents have some form of regret. Parental guilt occurs when a parent feels that they are failing in some aspect of their parenting journey due to internal or external factors. A common example is when you feel that you aren’t there for your child enough. For parents who make the transition to co-parenting, these feelings of guilt can be enhanced by factors like a divorce or a shared custody schedule. It is crucial for those who experience parental guilt to acknowledge and manage these feelings. Here are some ways to productively process and overcome parental guilt.

1. Document your feelings

When negative thoughts fill your head, it is important to stop the repetitive cycle that stems from internalizing them. On the other hand, having and celebrating happy thoughts is just as important as recognizing negative ones. Getting your thoughts organized and out of your head is a great first step to processing your feelings of guilt, triumph, and anything in between. One of the best ways to recognize and take control of your feelings is to write about them.

With the TalkingParents' Personal Journal, you can create journal entries to detail your feelings and develop solutions. You can write as much as you want in each entry and include up to five attachments. Your co-parent cannot view your entries. The Personal Journal is great for documenting any relevant details or materials that may have enhanced or reduced your feelings of parent guilt. Whether you want to share the information from your journals with a therapist or process your feelings internally, you have the freedom to do what’s best for you.

Mother and small son looking at cell phone

2. Communicate more with your kids

Parents who have shared custody are more susceptible to the feeling that they do not spend enough time with their children. Whether you and your co-parent follow a 50/50 schedule or a 70/30 schedule, the reality of shared custody is that you spend less time with your children. Making the most of the time you spend with your kids is important, and keeping in touch with them while they’re not physically with you is a great way to supplement your support and connection.

Our Accountable Calling feature enables co-parents to securely communicate with each other through phone and video calls. Using this feature, you can communicate with your children while they are with their other parent. You can share important details about upcoming occasions, listen to stories about their day, or just check in with your child. Video calls take communication a step further by giving you face-to-face interaction, encouraging you and your child to stay more engaged.

3. Focus on the present

When you share custody of your children, it can be difficult to fully appreciate quality time because you may feel like you’re always juggling a schedule. Frequent custody exchanges can make time feel abbreviated and chaotic at times. Keeping track of important appointments and dates for your kids can take a lot of time and energy if you’re trying to manage everything day by day. Alternatively, using a calendar to mark important events can help take some of the effort out of the process, allowing you to stay organized and focus on the time you spend with your kids.

With TalkingParents Shared Calendar feature, you and your co-parent can notate important dates and schedules with single or repeating events. Adding your custody schedule and other recurring activities allows you to have important information and details readily available. You can even color-coordinate your events to distinguish between school events, extracurriculars, and custody exchanges. Logging these key dates allows you to focus more on the present and worry less about what’s to come.

Older man hugging adult son

4. Talk to your support system

Working through difficult emotions can be a daunting and lonely task. When you’re struggling with negative feelings, it’s important to remember that you do not have to go through it alone. Whether it’s a close friend or family member, sharing your feelings with someone you trust can be a helpful tool in overcoming parental guilt. Reaching out to a professional counselor or therapist can be a great resource as well.

When coping with parental guilt while co-parenting, taking time to process your feelings is paramount. TalkingParents offers a variety of features and resources to help make your co-parenting journey more manageable. Learn more about TalkingParents and how it can help you here.

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