Co-parenting with dignity & humour. Even when your child is “particular.”


My ex texted me this morning after he dropped the kids off at school:

“I think I’m going to start a blog.”

My first response was “Oh crap. He’s going to start a Divorce Doula site for dudes. Back off, buddy!  I’m glad you’re cool with my blog about our divorce, but this is MY territory.” But then I realized it was probably about something else.

“Shit our 6 year old says?” I texted back.


As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, we have two seriously awesome boys that we co-parent. Our 10 year old is a kind, empathetic, numerically-inclined, hopelessly romantic, frustratingly forgetful and infinitely loving child. The 6 year old? Not so much.

We love each of them equally, but the 6 year old sometimes makes it so hard. He’s always been difficult: didn’t sleep through the night until he was 2, violent temper tantrums, argumentative, combative, stubborn, particular, righteous, and sometimes downright ridiculous. He will never admit to being wrong, even when confronted with hard evidence & facts. This is the kid who would cut off his nose to spite his face and find a way to blame you for his suffering. He will make a fantastic lawyer one day.

We’ve tried therapy. We’ve read books, talked to experts, family, friends, teachers – anyone who would listen – about how we can get him to change before we lose our minds.

The challenge of single parenting a difficult child (hell, any child) is that you don’t have someone to “spell” you off when you’re at the end of your rope & ready to use that rope to strangle said child.  My ex & I are close enough to know that the other is just a phone call away if we are dealing with a particularly difficult issue, but there are so many times when I wish he were just in the next room, ready to go into the ring when I’m tapped out.

But he’s not.

So, I think my ex is taking the approach that we should have taken years ago: instead of letting the 6 year old get under our skin, we need to look at the lighter side of his drama du jour, not take it personally, have a laugh & then go blog about it.

I don’t mean to give the impression that the 6 year old is a complete asshole, because he isn’t; he’s amazing. He skips when he’s happy, his laugh is like sunshine & he tells terrible jokes that only he finds funny. He is disarmingly charming & we love him to the moon & back. And we have decided to accept him for who he is: an incredibly bright, meticulously focussed, wordlessly precise, uniquely artistic child who rebels against authority & refuses to conform. I love the pilgrim soul in him. In fact, he reminds me a lot of someone I know.

Is it weird that my ex & I will be writing a blog together? Maybe, but I actually think it’s pretty awesome that we can still laugh together, even if we can’t live together.


About Pamela

I’m a Vancouver-based divorced mother of two awesome boys embarking on a respectful, amicable and often humorous co-parenting adventure with their father. By day, I'm a publicist for good causes + companies at

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One Response to Co-parenting with dignity & humour. Even when your child is “particular.”

  1. Meghan April 8, 2013 at 11:32 pm #

    I think its pretty great that both of you can still share the laughter of co-parenting and share the humour of your sons ‘spirited’ personality. I think its the spirited ones that will really make a difference in the world ;)

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