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Parent’s Pick: Co-Parenting from the Inside Out

By Karen L. Kristjanson
Dundurn Press

While separation is one of the hardest decisions parents can make, the transition from a single-family unit to two divided households is often more difficult. This is why many parents choose co-parenting, where everyday routines and holidays are shared between both parents, so they can remain equally involved in their children’s lives.

In Co-Parenting from the Inside Out, author Karen L. Kristjanson shares her personal account of separation and co-parenting along with the raw, personal stories of real moms and dads from diverse circumstances who have chosen a similar path. From delayed separation and long-distance parenting to custody battles and mental illness or addiction problems, each chapter explores different co-parenting arrangements. At the end of each chapter, Kristjanson provides a summary of the lessons learned, suggestions for how situations could have been handled differently, and practical strategies and tips that will help parents make thoughtful decisions that will benefit their families. The final two chapters offer a list of quick pointers and 12 things learned from the co-parenting journey, while the appendices offer additional co-parenting and personal growth resources. The book does not need to be read in chronological order; feel free to skip to the chapters that interest you most.

Readers who are contemplating co-parenting or are currently in the process will appreciate the honesty of the interviewees in sharing their deeply personal stories and the effects of separation on their children and themselves. The amount of personal growth and confidence each parent gained while dealing with the aftermath of divorce is evident and will hopefully inspire readers going through similar situations. Although you may not agree with the decisions some parents made, this book is a truly eye-opening read and an essential resource for those considering co-parenting.

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