Nearly 100 years ago, Franklin Roosevelt insisted that the only thing that the American people had to fear is fear itself. That observation tends to ring true when applied to many issues in life. Certainly, one can justify numerous fears that extend beyond the core issue of fear itself. However, when determining how to move forward in healthy and productive ways, fear itself does tend to manifest as one’s greatest obstacle.
This is generally true in terms of co-parenting. Certainly, if your child’s other parent is abusive, you have reason to fear beyond fear. If this is so, you may benefit from speaking to your attorney about modifying your child’s custody or placement agreement. However, if your child’s other parent is not abusive, fear may be one of the primary challenges you are navigating on a regular basis.
You may be afraid that your co-parent is not caring for your child as you would. You may be afraid that your child likes or loves your co-parent more than he or she likes or loves you. You may be afraid that your child will be harmed by your co-parenting arrangement. You may be afraid that you are missing too much of your child’s young life.
All of these fears are normal. And all of these fears are fears that at least some other co-parents share. Processing these fears with trusted loved ones, counselors or others in your support network may help to place these fears in perspective and may help you to find solutions to alleviate some of these fears. But ultimately, you must ask yourself whether fearing these unknowns does you or your child any good at all. Because sometimes, the greatest thing we have to fear is truly fear itself.
Source: The Huffington Post, “What I Wish Every Co-Parent Knew,” Karen Becker, June 19, 2015