Are you selfish enough in Child Custody and Co-Parenting?
Don’t worry. If you’re not, someone else will be.
If you are, I’m confident someone is telling you that you are too selfish. You are too into your schedule, your ideas, your goals for yourself and your child. If so, congrats. If you haven’t heard this, proceed with caution.
My job isn’t to live in the dream world of the folks who haven’t been through this who think you and your co-parent should be able to agree on everything and that standing up for what you believe is right for yourself, your family and your child is being selfish, or worse, “dragging the kids” through something. The folks I’m talking about, by the way, include a few but still too many family court judges (unless, of course, you follow the advice herein and recognize that a Judge has a vested interest in you settling for whatever the other side is offering so he or she can get your file off his or her desk, not “wasting the Court’s time,” and avoiding issues on appeal).
So, let’s imagine someone walks into your workspace of living room and calls you selfish. First, let’s ask why he or she would be saying that….
(If you’re analyzing your own behavior at this point, you’re already making a mistake!)
…what you need to be doing is asking what incentive the other person has for saying that? What is that person’s agenda? What is that person being selfish about?
You are analyzing the other’s agenda in a judgmental manner. You are the Golden Rule personified. You are looking at a situation from the other’s perspective just like you want the other to look at the situation from yours. You are recognizing the other’s self-interest. The question is, is the other person truly recognizing your self-interest, your goals, your principles, or is the other just attacking you to get what the other wants…
Is it a tactic? Or, is it real live candid communication?
Fundamentally, it’s about honesty and truth. This is want for my child and my life. This is where a compromise helps me reach a grander objective. However, this is where, in consideration of what I believe about myself and my child, I will draw the line.
Notice that I said “myself and my child,” not my child and myself. You come first. Your health, your well-being, (your sobriety, maybe?), it all has to come first if before you can be anything to anyone else. Bill Gates had to make himself a bunch of money before he could start the largest non-profit in the history of the world. In sum, as I mention all the time to our clients at Foxtrot and as I’ll certainly mention here, you have to put your own oxygen mask on first.
This article contains general information and should not be construed as legal advice for you or your unique situation. If you would like to speak more about how you, as a committed parent or caring relative, can be more effective in your Child Custody case, please visit www.ThinkFoxtrot.com/public_calendars/ to schedule your initial consultation at one of our offices. ~SW, Foxtrot