Co-Parenting & Creating a Child-Centered Co-Parenting Plan with Karen Bonnell

Do you feel like you and your ex treat parenting like a competitive sport? 

Nurturing and supporting children while going through a divorce can be difficult, but creating mutual understanding and respect between us and the other parent is critical for a peaceful transition from one household to two.

What does the ideal co-parenting situation look like? Who should have the final say in where and how our children live?

Before we’re able to create a plan that works for all members of the family, it’s important to agree upon and define what co-parenting looks like to everyone involved.

In this episode, Karen Bonnell discusses her nearly 30 years of experience helping families transition into co-parenting plans that cultivate child-centered parenting.

Listen to the full episode on Apple Podcasts or Watch it here!

Three Things You’ll Love About This Episode:

  • Understand the true definition of co-parenting
    • While getting along is always ideal, co-parenting focuses on respect, clarity, and mutual understanding.
  • Parenting doesn’t have to feel like a competition
    • It’s important to teach our children to communicate their needs to both parents and to avoid leaning into behaviors that establish an “alliance” attitude.
  • Taking time to learn how to solo parent is normal - and encouraged
    • It’s okay to give ourselves a little room to learn how to navigate parenting on our own terms. Part of co-parenting is having confidence in our own decisions and empowering our children to make their needs known. Those skills don’t evolve overnight and might take a little practice - time is essential to mastery.

Guest bio:

A graduate of the University of Michigan, Karen Bonnell has been board-certified and licensed as an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner since 1982 and served on the faculty of University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University & Seattle Pacific University before beginning full-time private practice in 1984.
Karen’s work as a Collaborative Divorce Coach spurred her determination to write “The Co-Parenting Handbook” “ with Kristin Little, Child Specialist.
Parents learn the best ways to support their children, strengthen their co-parenting, and discover the necessary tools to skillfully create a two-home family.
Karen also created “The Parenting Plan Workbook” with contributor Felicia Malsby Soleil, JD to provide valuable access to the mechanics behind writing a strong, child-centered parenting plan.
And most recently, Karen and Patricia Papernow (PAP-ER-NOW), Ph.D. released the newest handbook for parents ready to date and hoping to one day successfully create a stepfamily, “The Stepfamily Handbook: From Dating, to Getting Serious, to Forming a ‘Blended Family’”.
Her deep listening skills make all the difference working with co-parent pairs in conflict as they find their way through the pain of divorce into a future with optimism.

Karen's Website link: (she has two free downloads there)


Yes! I need help setting boundaries!