Chapter 10: Opportunities and Challenges in Coparenting Education

by Alan J. Hawkins and Paul Florsheim

Blog posts: Coparenting After Divorce: Rising to the Challenge


Kruk, E. (n.d.). Coparenting after divorce: Rising to the challenge. Psychology Today.

This website section contains a set of informative, practical, and helpful essays for divorcing and divorced parents to help them deal with the challenges of divorce and coparenting. They are authored by the Dr. Edward Kruk, president of the International Council on Shared Parenting and posted on the respected Psychology Today website. Kruk addresses different ways of coparenting, including parallel parenting after divorce, and "birds nest" coparenting arrangements. He also addresses various topics such as relocation and coparenting, parent–child alienation and reunification, coparenting very young children, and educational and therapeutic coparenting interventions.

Book: Coparenting: A Conceptual and Clinical Examination of Family Systems


McHale, J. P., & Lindahl, K. M. (2011). Coparenting: A conceptual and clinical examination of family systems. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

This edited volume by leading researchers in the coparenting field brings together an impressive group of scholars and clinicians who write with the goal of increasing our current understanding of how to encourage good coparenting to improve the outcomes of at-risk children. Early chapters focus on the concepts, theories, and empirical research that undergird the emerging study and clinical practice of coparenting, with a particular emphasis on family systems theory. Later chapters explore clinical applications for coparenting in diverse family circumstances.

Book: Doing the Best I Can: Fatherhood in the Inner City


Edin, K., & Nelson, T. J. (2013). Doing the best I can: Fatherhood in the inner city. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Doing the Best I Can is a paradigm-shifting look at fatherhood among inner city men that highlights the barriers and challenges they face to stay involved in the lives of their children and coparent with their children's mothers. Kathryn Edin and Timothy J. Nelson explore how disadvantaged couples come together and get pregnant quickly—without planning. The authors chronicle the high hopes for forging lasting family bonds that pregnancy inspires and pinpoint the fatal flaws that often lead to the relationship's demise. They offer keen insight into a radical redefinition of family life where the father–child bond is central and parental ties are peripheral. Drawing on years of fieldwork and intimate, in-depth interviews with more than 100 low-income fathers, they show how dramatic economic and cultural changes have transformed the meaning of fatherhood among the urban poor.

Book: Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood Before Marriage


Edin, K., & Kefalas, M. (2005). Promises I can keep: Why poor women put motherhood before marriage. Berkeley: University of California Press
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Kathryn Edin and Maria Kefalas draw on more than 150 interviews with low-income, urban mothers over a 5-year period to paint an intimate portrait of what romantic relationships, marriage, and motherhood mean to these women, illuminating the rationale for why many poor women prioritize motherhood over marriage and the coparenting challenges they face as a result. Despite holding marriage in high esteem, these women view it as an elusive goal and see little to lose and much to gain by becoming mothers. The high value they place on children and the fragile relationships they have with their children's fathers make motherhood a more achievable goal than marriage. They are more confident in their ability to be good mothers without the help of fathers than they are in their ability to form and sustain a healthy marriage in which to raise their children.

Book: The Truth About Children and Divorce: Dealing with the Emotions so You and Your Children Can Thrive


Emery, R. E. (2004). The truth about children and divorce: Dealing with the emotions so you and your children can thrive. New York, NY: Plume.

Robert Emery draws on a quarter century of experience as a prominent divorce researcher, therapist, and mediator to provide a guide for parents going through the painful process of divorce. He offers advice on how to talk to children about divorce and create workable parenting plans to cooperate effectively with ex-spouses to help children adjust to divorce. Moreover, he helps parents understand the real emotional barriers and challenges they face to healthy separations and cooperative coparenting.


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