Jan 16, 2023

What do I do when my co-parent has different religious beliefs?

Tamar Burris
Tamar Burris
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What do I do when my co-parent has different religious beliefs?

Here's advice on how to handle religious differences when co-parenting with someone who has different beliefs.

Key takeaways:
1. Respect your co-parent's beliefs and be respectful of their values.
2. Use religious differences as an opportunity to teach your kids about tolerance and inclusion.
3. Allow your children to form their own belief system by asking them what they believe.

Counter arguments:
1. It can be difficult to have such a big difference in beliefs in the household.
2. It can be hard to not throw your co-parent under the bus when discussing religious beliefs.


 We all know that religion can be a really divisive. So what do you do when you're co-parenting with someone who has very different religious beliefs from yourself? How do you raise kids with that person? I'm Tamar Burris. I'm a divorce and co-parenting coach. You can find me at or on the WTF divorce directory.

And today I'm talking about religious differences among co-parents. So I know that it sounds really hard to have such a big difference in your household. Say you're more religious and your co-parent is not, or they are and you are not. Or you have two very different sort of conflicting religions and that seems hard, but it's actually a great opportunity.

It's an opportunity to teach your kids about tolerance and inclusion and empathy and free thinking. Okay? So think of it that way. They're gonna come across people all throughout their lives who have different values, different thanthey do, and they're gonna have to know how to handle those people. So you're giving them this gift of learning it at home with you.

So it's really, it's a, it's a powerful learning tool. So if you can think about it that way, if you can frame it that way, sometimes it's helpful. Um, and the other thing to consider is, you know, like everything. Um, you wanna be respectful of your co-parent, you want to be respectful of their beliefs, and hopefully they'll be respectful of yours, but you can only control what's happening on your side.

So if your children come to you with mom or dad said X, Y, and Z about some religion or some religious character, whatever, and they want to ask you like, is that true? What do you think? I don't, you know, um, that sounds scary, or what, whatever. It's, it's a conversation opener, right? It's not a time for you to totally like negate your co-parent and throw them under the bus.

You can say things like, well, you know, your mom or dad believe this and I believe this, and what do you believe? Or, well, that's something that some people believe, you know, and this is something that other people believe. What do you believe? But always bring it back to the what do you believe? What do you think?

And give them that question. It's really empowering and that allows them to really. Through the belief system and decide what they want, you know, and they'll probably pick and choose from both of you, and that's okay. They are their own person and they're forming their own belief system just as you did and just as their co-parent did.

So you need to give them the room to foster their own development. You wanna be honest and authentic with them, and you don't wanna throw your co-parent under the bus. Allow them to have their values and beliefs and be respectful of them and share yours, and that's the best you can do.

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