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I have been a fan of Kate Winslet’s work for some time now so when I saw this article, “Kate Winslet on Coparenting with Her Exes,”  I just had to click on it.  After all, she is widely known as a bright star with positive ideas about the female body image and acceptance. Surely, Kate Winslet’s wisdom must expand to her parenting, right? And then I clicked. And I read, and I was troubled to read Ms. Winslet’s anti-co-parenting sentiments.

Ms. Winslet told a US Weekly reporter, “My kids don’t go back and forth; none of this 50/50 time with the mums and dads – my children live with me; that is it. That is it!”*

I was troubled by Ms. Winslet’s statements. Children of divorced or separated parents have two homes–regardless of how much time they spend in each one. Home is not just a building where we sleep at night; it is a place where we feel safe, loved, and comfortable. Home is a place that we associate with family and with memories of our youth. When a child’s parents can no longer share the same home, it becomes that much more important IMHO that the child is made to feel that he or she has two homes.

I imagine Ms. Winslet loves her children very much and believes that she is doing what is in their best interest by keeping them with her–by making her home their home and their father’s home a place they visit. Of course, I am assuming her children spend time with their director fathers (if they don’t then the tragedy is greater and beyond the scope of this post.)

One of the hardest things to do when sharing custody is not to take on the mentality that you are a single parent because you are not a single parent. If you were, then your home would be your children’s only home, your rules would be your children’s only rules, and you would be straddled with the burden of filling the gap left by a missing parent. Count yourself lucky if you have another parent who wishes to share that burden you. More importantly, count your children lucky because the benefit for your children will be great.

If you can make your children feel at home in both parents houses, you will go a long way towards helping your children to feel that their parents divorced each other, not their children. You will go a long way towards improving the relationship with your fellow parent because it is a sign of respect to him/her and when you show someone respects you increase the likelihood of receiving respect. In my experience, respect makes co-parenting relationships work. You can show someone respect even if you do not agree with their opinion, idea, or behavior. And through respect, you can tackle problems, share ideas, and find compromises.

Respect is what allows divorcing or separating parents to come to the mediation table and find resolutions for their disputes. Decisions that spare their children pain that provide them with closure and that allow the family to start healing from the broken relationship long before their court battling contemporaries.

I will continue being a Kate Winslet fan, but I will do so with a sincere hope that she comes to see why not sharing children with their father–in word, deed and spirit–is not in the children’s best interest. As usual, I speak to a situation where both parents are fit to parent. Since Ms. Winslet made no indication that either father of her children was unfit, I am operating under the assumption that neither father is unfit.

Developing a working and respectful co-parenting relationship takes practice and guidance. Working with a mediator is a great way to start. For more in-depth work, I suggest working with a co-parenting counselor and taking a co-parenting class.

*Read more: http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-moms/news/kate-winslet-on-co-parenting-with-her-exes-my-children-live-with-me-that-is-it-20131610#ixzz32aFg1b3n
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