Trecia Davis is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker certified in Parenting and Family Strengthening Approaches. Trecia Davis is also trained in Perinatal Mood Disorders and is qualified Missouri Mediator for family and civil disputes. She has over 15 years of lived coparenting experience, and over 10 years of experience working with blended families.
Co-parenting within blended/non-traditional families became a passion of mine as I watched my mother treat children my father created with other women as her own. “I have 31 siblings on my dad’s side and six on my mom’s side” is a phrase I often tell others when describing the size of my family. Imagine the confusion on people’s face as I try to explain my birth order. In one story, I am the oldest daughter and, in another, I am being tormented by “my older sister”. My children are probably still not sure how many uncles and aunts they actually have because I also call my closest friends “sisters” and “brothers”. Families are complex and parenting is just as complicated of a concept to master or in some cases just to maneuver.
My oldest son’s father and I are often credited with being great co-parents. Now that I am married to someone else, some of our peers consider our partnership a strong example of co-parenting and with a blended family. With intentional work, we have learned some strategies and compromises that have been effective in helping my son thrive. It may seem like we are more of an exception than the rule, but I would like to change that. I can count more couples who have never been married, or are divorced, than who are happily married or co-parenting with their child(ren)’s other biological parent, in my cell phone alone. In my small circle of friends and family, this set of circumstances may not be indicative of more worldwide trends, but it feels common enough to drive me to take action. I am actively looking for opportunities to help others learn the tools they need to maintain stability in children’s lives.
Co-parenting has been a very personal journey in my home life, but it has also played a role in my profession as the Director of Social Work at a charter school. After several unfortunate calls to the police about parental rights and several attempts to de-escalate emotionally heightened children, we increased our level of security measures and knowledge of custody law. Working on the school’s policy changes and training others on our new procedures to reduce this unfortunate incidents turned into one of the main objectives of my department over the past few years and we have seen some benefit in our enhanced structures.
This work is extremely personal to me and I am truly invested!