The H.I.G.H. R.O.A.D. – a Two-Part Series on Finding and Mastering the Co-Parenting High Road.

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What the heck is the “HIGH ROAD” & how do I get there?

PART 1: Getting Your Head in the Game.

According to Wiktionary, the high road is “a course of action which is dignified, honorable or
respectable. Well, if you have gone through a divorce or separation, you know full well that
these three things are often in short supply. The end of a relationship is many times fraught
with decidedly undignified behavior born from the pain and disappointment of losings
something that was once so important. And that makes sense.

We are not our best selves when we are angry and hurting, and it can be incredibly hard to find compassion in this situation or think about what is on the other side of the pain. However, when you have children who are in the middle of this storm, you have to find that clarity. The relationship may be over, but you still have to work together to raise your children in the best, most healthy way possible. And this is where your journey to the high road begins.

The high road invites you to look past your pain and think about how your actions will affect
your parenting relationship going forward. The high road asks you to fight every instinct to give
in to your pain and be petty and vindictive just because it feels good. The high road insists that
you acknowledge and understand that you are not the only one hurting. The high road asks you to choose and keep choosing to be the bigger person. And that really fucking hard.

“Doing the right thing for your child sometimes means swallowing your pride…don’t worry, you won’t choke.”

Darlene Taylor
It’s Not About Us: A Co-parenting Survival Guide to Taking the High Road

A good place to start, before you even consider how to put this into action, is to make sure your
head and heart are in a space to do this. The high road requires honesty, integrity, grace, and

Honesty – To be able to act in an honorable and respectable way, we must start by being
honest with ourselves about our situation and the role we played in getting to where we are.
We also need to be honest about our emotional state and how we are dealing with this
transition. Burying our heads in the sand and pretending to be okay will make it impossible to
make healthy decisions for ourselves and our children. We have to be honest about what we
need from our support system and then be willing to do what’s needed to best take care of

Integrity – Ask yourself, will you be able to look back and be proud of the way you handled co-
parenting, even when it was hard? None of us are perfect, and we will fall short of the high road
at times, but the goal is to behave in a way that doesn’t fan the flames of contention, even
when taking the low road feels warranted. Part of staying on the high road is doing the right
thing even when others aren’t, and this is incredibly important in co-parenting. The low road
may momentarily serve your ego, but ultimately, your children are the ones who are hurt.

Grace – This journey is not going to be easy, and even in the best of circumstances, mistakes will
be made. There is no “right way” of co-parenting that works for every family, so in finding your
path, you have to expect that there will be missteps. Give yourself a break! We are all doing the best we can at the moment we are in, so try not to beat yourself up if things don’t go the way
you planned. As important as giving yourself space to figure this out is extending that same
grace to your parenting partner. They are trying to navigate these waters the best they know
how as well, with no direction, so expect them to veer off course sometimes. This is a new space
for everyone, and understanding that you won’t get it right immediately
gives you all the freedom and time to work out the kinks and get to a healthy place for

Humility – As hard as it may be, you also must be willing to swallow your pride and admit when
you are wrong. Co-parenting should be a collaboration, not a contest. You don’t always have to
be right or try to prove you are the better parent. Kids need two healthy people in their lives
who remember that their well-being is the focus. Mistakes will be made, so when it’s our turn
to apologize, do it. And when it’s their turn to eat crow, give them the benefit of the doubt and
assume they are doing their best to stay on the high road too.

Believe me, I understand fully that staying on the high road is much easier said than done, and I was nowhere near perfect in my endeavor to do so.  But we all have to start somewhere and I believe is a damn good foundation from which to build a co-parenting relationship that you and your children can be proud of.

Now that you’ve got your head in the game, stay tuned for part two of the HIGH ROAD series. It will outline four action steps and my best strategies to stay on the high road. If you’d like to learn more about co-parenting success on the high road, you can find more information on the book and the courses at

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