Forums » What To Look For In A Parenting Partner

What's your top criteria for your parenting partner?

    • 1 posts
    October 25, 2012 3:32:23 PM EDT
    I'm curious what others are focused on in choosing a co-parent - does looks come first? Brains? Finances?  I'm considering a few different co-parent options but would love to hear how others are thinking about this!
    • 3 posts
    December 27, 2012 9:41:33 AM EST
    I think its definitely around compatibility - if I'm going to be spending the next 20 years or more with someone around a shared child, we're going to need to have a good personal connection from the get-go.
    • 1 posts
    January 13, 2013 8:43:34 AM EST
    Yes, compatibility, but genetics are going to be key too - decent looks (not to be shallow, but important) and definitely brains.
  • April 16, 2013 5:12:29 PM EDT
    Compatibility ideas, harmony and complicity :-)
  • Anonymous
    April 29, 2013 10:15:45 AM EDT
    Looking for a professional, like a Doctor, a Dentist, or a Lawyer, can be American or European
  • Anonymous
    June 2, 2013 1:21:01 PM EDT
    indeed
    • 1 posts
    July 19, 2013 5:59:08 PM EDT
    There seem to be so many important questions-- mostly revolving around shared values. Here's my current list of more detailed questions...

    Annette



    GENERAL COMPATIBILITY
    Are you out to “change the world”? How so? Or, how are you otherwise focused?
    Do you have a thirst for life? If so, can you share about something you did that demonstrated this?
    How did you come to consider co-parenting as a choice in your life? What do you love about the idea of co-parenting? If you could set up the co-parenting situation of your dreams, what would it look like? What kind of relationship or what possible types of relationships do you envision with a co-parent or co-parents? What is your ideal number of co-parents? What kind of relationship would we have? How might the child be supported by our family structure? What elements of this vision are most important to you?
    Do you have a philosophy on child-rearing? If so, can you describe it? Either way, how would you describe the kind of parent you want to be and the kind of child you’d like to raise?
    What are the things in your life that bring you fun, adventure, play, pleasure, laughter, and enjoyment? How often do you do those things? What is your relationship to play? Where in your life do you have opportunities to play and how do you envision playing with your child?
    What is your religious/spiritual affiliation/practice, if any? Do you have any plans to involve your child in your religious/spiritual life? If so, why or why not, and what do you imagine that involvement would look like?
    What and how do you like to eat on an everyday basis? What is your approach to buying food? Do your social, political, and/or ecological values impact on your food choices at all?
    What is your relationship to the natural world? How much time do you spend out of doors? Do you have any hopes about spending time outside with your child?
    What is your experience with sports, movement arts, or exercise in general? Have you done any competitive sports? What do you feel is the value of kids engaging in competitive sports? Are you wary of competitive sports at all? If so, why?
    How would you say you keep your home in terms of cleanliness on a scale from 1-10? What do you think about a child keeping her/his room clean? (ie., is it important to you?) If so, why? And how would you seek to promote or reward your child making choices for cleanliness and organization? If it’s not important to you that a child be clean and organized, why not? What are your concerns or higher values?
    Do you identify with a political party? If so, how does this party demonstrate your social values? If not, what social values do you have that aren’t fitting in to the existing parties?
    Do you own a television? Do you watch television online? Do you watch movies? How often per week on average? What is your approach to allowing your child to watch television? How much time per week do you think is appropriate/healthy? Would you place any restrictions on the types of shows? If so, what values are you using to decipher between a “good show” and a “bad show”?
    How do you plan to talk about sexuality, sensuality, and sex with your children? Do you believe there is an appropriate age to begin broaching the subject?
    Have you had any anti-oppression training? If so, how has this impacted your everyday life and your approach to parenting? If not, what is your relationship to the “isms” of our society: racism, classism, sexism, ageism, homophobia, etc.? How do you plan to raise a child with an awareness of these societal wounds? How will you support your child in celebrating difference? (E.g., different gender expression, race, creed, class personality, way of being in the world, etc...)

    PERSONAL AWARENESS
    Have you ever engaged in any “personal growth” activities such as workshops, classes, book-reading, etc? If so, please give me an overview of the work you’ve done and the lessons you’ve learned. How has this work shaped your approach to parenting?
    Have you ever received any counseling or therapy? What was the reason you sought support? What did you learn or are you learning? How might this shape your parenting style, if at all?
    Are you familiar with the book The 5 Love Languages? Do you know what yours is?
    What is your relationship with touch and affection? How much affection and touch did you receive as a child? What is the frequency and impact of loving touch among your friends and family?
    How do you feel about nurturing a child’s interests? If your child was involved in 3-4 after-school activities, how would you feel about that? What might be your concerns, if any? Your hopes? Do you identify with being an “achiever” in life? What has been your relationship to achievement?

    EDUCATION
    Have you studied beyond high school? If so, were you self-taught or did you go to a college or university? In either case, what did you study? How has your educational background influenced your vision for your child’s schooling (if at all)? What is your vision for your child’s education?
    Have you ever spent any time traveling around the U.S. or outside of it? How have these experiences contributed to your education? Have they influenced your approach to child-rearing?
    What is your relationship to art/creative expression? Does it at all influence your approach to parenting? What sort of role do you think art and creative expression play in a child’s learning, if any? Does it have value to you if it’s not connected to learning reading, writing and arithmetic?

    NAVIGATING TYPICAL CHALLENGES
    What is your history of dealing with conflict? What was it like in your home as a child? What is it like for you now? What are your habits in the context of conflict? Do you have any experience with Nonviolent Communication, mediation, restorative circles or any other conflict management tools? How has your experience navigating conflict influenced your approach to communication with children and teens?
    I imagine there will be overwhelming times and moments are parents. How do you handle overwhelm? How often do you experience it? What resources do you commonly draw upon to support you when you are overwhelmed?
    Do you have a philosophy on discipline/accountability? If so, how would you describe it? If not, what do you imagine would be your approach? How were you held accountable/disciplined in your family of origin? What did that experience teach you about how you would like to approach navigating that arena of parenting?
    What if our child exhibited behavior that is generally associated with a different gender? (e.g., what if we had a boy child who wanted to be a Disney princess character for Halloween?) How would you feel about that? What might come up for you? How might you navigate the situation?
    What is your relationship with boundaries? How are you with communicating the impact of someone else’s actions? How do you envision teaching your child about boundaries?
    Are you in a relationship currently? What role does your wife/husband/partner plan to play in our child’s life? If you are not currently in a relationship, how do you plan to integrate a new person into our child’s life? What is your plan to navigate dating? How about regular or occasional lovers?
    What sorts of addictions, if any, do you find in your family? What kinds of addictions have you developed/dealt with/been in recovery for over your lifetime? What is your relationship to addiction at this point in time?
    Do you have any experience with mental illness? What about the rest of your family?
    What if our child has a learning disability? A physical disability? What is your experience with both of these?
    What are you most afraid of repeating in terms of your parents’ parenting choices?

    FAMILY COHESIVENESS
    If we live in separate homes, how do you envision us navigating favorite toys, clothes, etc. between our homes? What are the possible ways that separate housing could be challenging for both parents and child? In what ways might it be easeful or enjoyable? If you have any experience with or knowledge of children in families of divorce, how does this inform your opinion?
    How do you imagine we’d spend holidays? Would you like to be able to take our child out of town for the holidays? If so, where could you envision going and how would it feel to have a co-parent there?
    We all need a break-- including kids. Do you hold the possibility of taking a family vacation that includes a co-parent?
    If you see the possibility of co-housing while co-parenting, what would you imagine to be the best possible scenario? What potential challenges can you imagine?
    Do you envision co-parenting to be a 50/50 relationship? If so, why? If not, why not?
    What are some other challenges you might imagine that would impact our ability to provide a cohesive family for a child?
    Do you currently have any children or are planning on having any? What is your plan for ensuring, as much as you are able, our child’s sense of belonging in the context of a wider family with different parents?

    RESOURCE COMPATIBILITY: Financial, Social, and Time
    How would you describe your relationship to money? How was money discussed, handled, and budgeted in your family of origin? How is your method similar/different? How would you describe your method of money management?
    What kind of work do you do and what is your annual income? How long have you been doing this work and expect to be doing it into the future? I.e., any plans for a change in profession and income?
    Have you been putting money away for creating a family? If so, how much money are you able to contribute monthly to a child’s needs?
    What other assets do you have that could be drawn upon in the case of a financially hard time or some sort of unexpected emergency with our child?
    Do you have health insurance that would cover our child? What sorts of services does it offer? What is your view on the medical industry generally?
    How much time availability do you have in your schedule to raise a child currently? How much time would you have to connect with a co-parent? How often do you imagine we’d get together? In what form? Meetings, holidays, events, dinners...?
    Do you have any core friends/companions/family members (either by blood or chosen) that you’d expect some type of support from over your years of parenting? Who are they? What is your relationship to them? What kind of support would you imagine each of them would be to you as a parent? What kind of support do you imagine them offering our child? What kind of role do you envision them having on our children’s life?
    What are the various communities with which you are connected? Do you think it’s possible that these communities could enrich our child’s life? If so, how? Are there any communities with which you are currently connected that you would imagine discontinuing or reducing your relationship with as a parent?
    In the Case of Adoption
    Would you want our child to be in contact with her/his birth parents? If so, would you envision that contact happening from the beginning or after some amount of time? What age?
    What would be some of the most important factors for you to consider in adopting a child in terms of the child’s parents, risk for illness, etc? Where are you open to adopting a child from? The county? The state? The U.S. in general? Outside the U.S.?
    In the Case of Labor
    Why might you prefer that we birth a child rather than adopt? What do you see as the benefits? What do you anticipate as the challenges?
    I am open to carrying a child. Is there possible mother-carriers other than me in your life? What are your relationships to these people? Would you want any of the to be co-parents?
    How can we arrange for equitable financial and energetic contributions to the process among all co-parents? Carrying a baby and going through labor is more expensive than adoption. Do you feel like you would have the financial resources? [may want to insert an estimation of the total cost to make this question more real]
    Do you have any strong opinions about birthing in a hospital versus a labor center or at home that you’d like me to know about?
    How would you feel about offering financial support to me if I carry and birth the child? What would feel like a fair arrangement for you in that scenario? What are the possible factors you would need to consider?
    I’m in fantastic health, but I am in the higher risk range for carrying a child in terms of age. What concerns does this bring up for you, if any, in terms of a co-parenting arrangement? What if, for example, something went wrong? What happens in the case of a miscarriage? How would a miscarriage impact any arrangements/agreements we have? Other complications you could see? What fears might you have about me carrying the baby?
    • 2 posts
    September 8, 2013 10:06:42 AM EDT
    The ability to be good friends is important to me. I think common social interests are important too as that could support possibilities for more family orientated occasions for the child.
    • 4 posts
    November 1, 2013 10:50:43 PM EDT
    This is a question that definitely will have a different response from everyone. Personally, compatibility and all that other good stuff is important, yes, but I think it will start out as trying to get to know the person, be friends -this is where the compatibility come in- hope and pray for the best. Nothing is guaranteed in life and all I want is a decent, loving person, that will teach good values, nurture, guide and be there for the child and I will do the same.
  • Anonymous
    February 20, 2014 5:16:06 PM EST
    Eu acho que o mais importante para se procurar num co pai ou numa co mãe são:se a pessoa mora perto do outro,se são da mesma religião,se querem casar ou não,se querem morar juntos ou não .e só pois aparência física não interessa e questão financeira não é tão importante assim,agora se o outro ficar escolhendo muito não achará ninguém.
    • 1 posts
    March 21, 2014 12:33:11 AM EDT
    I think both brain & finance are important but the priority should be towards brain because a brainy partner can help you in all the aspects of a smooth running life with a wealthy living.
  • May 31, 2014 10:01:00 PM EDT
    How do we search for matches?
  • Anonymous
    October 21, 2014 9:25:57 PM EDT
    I am not looking for a husband or a boyfriend, so good gene for mind and for health as well as steady share of finance are the enough.
  • May 25, 2015 5:40:29 PM EDT
    I think a good connection/friendship and compatibility are important since the person will be in your life forever pretty much. Someone with similar values. I'd mostly hope for someone reliable that hold up the end they agree to
  • December 8, 2015 2:47:26 PM EST
    At this point, somebody I can get along with and thats willing to do it.
  • April 13, 2016 2:08:06 AM EDT
    I don't need a husband or a boyfriend I just need a friend who can understand me.
    • 3 posts
    July 13, 2018 3:22:51 AM EDT
    Compatibity & passion to do something.
    • 1 posts
    July 14, 2018 10:13:48 PM EDT
    You need to agree on the things that are the most important things in life for each of you. For example, where to live, how to spend, and how to resolve conflicts.