Coparenting and Health
Coparenting and Physical Health and Nutrition
A child can benefit from a healthy coparental relationship whether the parents are living together or apart. In particular, a child has a better chance of thriving when coparents are able to communicate effectively and agree on how the child's health and fitness needs can best be met. Historically, moms have tended to have more influence than fathers over a child's physical health and nutrition because they were the primary caregiver and cook in the home. However, the trend for more women to work outside the home has ushered in new opportunities for mothers to share these responsibilities more often with fathers. Thus, involved fathers as well as mothers now have numerous opportunities to pass on healthy food choices to their children by including healthier food on the menu.
Ideally, fathers and mothers will establish a collaborative partnership as parents. In doing so, they will do their best to incorporate the other into important family rituals and decision-making opportunities. However, some parents engage in gatekeeping, perhaps with the intent of helping a child, when they restrict the coparent's options to play a more significant parental role in some aspect of a child's life. Although there may be justifiable reasons for this approach, children as well as coparents often suffer when a coparent is cut out.
Parenting is a unique experience for everyone. Many moms have taken advantage of social media to share their experiences and advice on parenting, and also use it as a way to communicate with other moms. Below are two blog forums, one national and one for the Gainesville, Florida community, that moms and dads can go to for advice and social support on parenting issues.
Circle of Moms
Circle of Moms has stories on parenting kids of all ages, pregnancy, fun foods, shopping with kids, and family life.
GainesvilleMoms.com is a place for mothers in the Gainesville community to connect. The site has blogs and chat rooms where moms can talk about their experiences. This site also includes articles such as this one, which talks about actor Ashton Kutcher's petition to put changing tables in men's restrooms.