OBF Parenting Pledge

OBF believes that all parents who belong to a blended family should recognize the characteristics of an unselfish parental relationship. We ask that you pledge to do the following:

  1.  I pledge to take care of myself. Change starts with you! To effectively care for your child, you must care for yourself (emotional, physical, and mental health). Remember what flight attendants tell you during the pre-flight: "Secure YOUR oxygen mask before you secure your child's!"
     

  2. I pledge to show love for my child as often as possible with healthy communication. Children measure how much their parents love them by how much contact they have with each parent. Sometimes a simple text message, FaceTime session, or interactive play with a cell phone game can keep a parent connected to their child when unable to visit. 
     

  3. I pledge to ensure that my child knows that they did not cause the breakup/separation between me and their other parent. Be vocal about how much you love your child. Tell them that the problems you had with the other parent were "adult problems" and had nothing to do with them.
     

  4. I pledge to work with my co-parent to create continuity and predictability in my child's life. Working to reduce the number of major changes for children helps give them continuity and stability. Avoid unnecessary changes in routines and create a shared calendar for both households that shows the daily/weekly activities at each location.
     

  5. I pledge to invite and welcome others into my child's life who will love, support, and encourage them; I pledge to foster a relationship with my child's relatives (my co-parent's family). Children need the love and support of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. The co-parent's family needs to feel that they can love the child and incorporate them into their family. An extended family network can increase your child's support system and their odds of success in life. Recognize that their support system may help you as well.
     

  6. I pledge to be honest with my child about my mistakes. Recognize that children are smarter than you think. It's okay to apologize to your child when you make a mistake because you teach them that humility and integrity are important. Even apologizing for small mistakes (such as being wrong about the time of an event) shows a child that you respect them and understand that mistakes happen and that lessons can be learned from those mistakes.
     

  7. I pledge to allow my child "to be a child"; I will not include them in adult conversations. Be aware that children often hear adult conversations. It is always okay to leave a room during tense conversations with your co-parent, or make your child leave. This will reduce the chances of your child hearing you possibly 'bad mouth' the other parent. Remember that your child is a part of the other parent; when you speak negatively about the other parent, the child often internalizes it. Many children have heard people tell them "you look just like your mother," or "you act just like your father". Speaking negatively about the other person in front of your child can be harmful to their self-esteem.
     

  8. I pledge to make an effort to be a good role model for my children. Children imitate adult behavior, particularly from those adults that they are frequently around. No one is perfect, but you should work hard to emulate positive, adult behavior.
     

  9. I pledge to be respectful of my co-parent. You may not always agree, so learn to disagree in a respectful manner. Children learn to socialize and interact with the opposite sex from their parents.
     

  10. I pledge to practice "parental selflessness". Your child's relationship and time with the other parent are important. Do not schedule events for your child on the other parent's days or weekends; it shows selfishness and a lack of respect for the co-parenting relationship. Attend your child's activities as normal (basketball games, school plays, etc.) and try to sit near the other parent. It shows your child that they have a team/cheering section that loves them -- despite their parents' relationship status.
     

  11. I pledge to not show jealousy regarding the time that my child spends with my co-parent, their partner, and/or their family. Children must feel comfortable sharing their experiences away from home; this fosters honesty and a close parent/child bond. Don't interrogate your child about their visits with the other parent, but allow them to share their delight about a visit in a supportive manner. For example, say "I'm glad you had fun today with XX." 
     

  12. I pledge to allow my child to love their other parent. Children need to know that it is alright for them to love both parents even if their parents don't love each other. Children benefit when parents encourage the relationship between the children and the other parent.
     

  13. I pledge to recognize that relationships do not involve money. If you are owed child support by the other parent, do not withold visits with your child. In-kind support (offering to help in other ways instead of offering money) can sometimes assist in raising a child. For example, the other parent may not be able to give $50 this week, but offers to pick the child up from school for a week instead. Even if you do not deduct the amount from any arrears (collect what is owed to you!), appreciate that other help is being offered.
     

  14. I pledge to respect my co-parent's space. You cannot dictate what happens in someone else's home. As long as nothing illegal or immoral is occuring (there's a thin line for morality), the other parent can raise your child under their rules without interference from you. If you normally have bible study on your weekends with your child, respect that the other parent does not have to do the same. This is sometimes hard to swallow for parents, but you cannot "run" someone else's household. Well-rounded children are developed by exposure to different things (culture, food, experiences, and activities).
     

  15. I pledge to recognize "free time for myself". Learn to relish the time that you are alone when your child is with your co-parent or your co-parent's family. You can use this time to start a new hobby, enjoy time with friends, or simply relax! 

  

It Starts With You!

© 2015 -  Our Blended Families, Inc. (OBF)

Inspired by JanNic51

Contact Us:

(571) 408-9OBF

(571) 408- 9623

info@obf4u.org

Our Blended Families, Inc. (OBF)

Helping Parents Communicate, Collaborate, & Co-Parent

An IRS Certified, 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization