In the jurisdiction where I live, my co-parent and I split the time with our son fifty-three to forty-seven percent.
Although it varies in different municipalities, here it works to about a six percent gap.
The Six Percent Rule is focused on redirecting your energy toward effectively managing the gap between non-custodial time and your time.
The key to remember is when you remain focused and positive, you are not just making great inroads during the time the child is actually in your care, but you are also managing the six-percent gap in between your time and the mother’s time.
Following the six percent rule will enhance your parenting experience; it will make your time with your child or children more productive.
Most of all, it will give you credence with your offspring as you navigate the choppy waters of co-parenting (read: you will look like the parent taking the high road).
So, if you are a dad and you are co-parenting a child with a hostile mother, follow these motivators to do what is best for the child or children.
Here are ten simple maxims to manage the Six Percent Gap:
1. Focus on Priorities: always stay focused on the priorities; don’t waste time on the superficial stuff; don’t get into miniscule arguments that end up wasting your energy and time.
2. Bend but Don’t Break: be ready to compromise; your child can learn a lot from you about school yard and classroom citizenship when you do this.
3. Influence not Control: it is virtually impossible to ‘control’ a child who is a product of two households; focus instead on influencing the action you’d like to produce.
4. Use Panoramic Lessons: use the larger lessons of life to influence your child in the direction you want them to go; don’t be afraid to use storytelling, metaphor and art to enhance your point.
5. Eliminate the Negative: as much as you possibly can, accentuate the positive and stay away from the negative; say something positive about the mother – even if you don’t believe it!
6. Bridle your Ego: don’t let your ego become the main attraction; suppress it and move on; there are bigger fish to fry.
7. Set the Context: both of the parental relationship and with the child and do it with positive parameters. You are going to have to make up in your mind that you are going to respond positively – no matter what!
8. Execute Lateral Negotiation. never negotiate up or down; if you are a co-conservator, act like one! Proceed from your place of power.
9. Choose Your Battles Wisely: every battle is not a war; choose your conflicts wisely; sometimes it’s best to let sleeping dogs lie.
10. Always give your Best: you may not always have the best to give but you can always give your best; never say ‘I can’t get him because I don’t have any money’; trust in your power; trust that the universal supply.
Raising a child is hard in and of itself, but when you manage by the Six Percent Rule, it’s a lot easier.
(Article first published on thyblackman.com)
About Eric Croomes
Eric Croomes is native of Phoenix, Arizona and is founder and chief executive coach of Infinite Strategies LLC, a multi-level coaching firm that develops and executes strategies for fitness training, youth achievement and lifestyle management.
Eric is an author, fitness professional, holistic life coach and motivational speaker.
His two books, Dance in the Dark, Poetic Reflections on Love and Culture (The Apple Tree Group, 2002) and Brotha2Brotha, Becoming Healthy Men from the Inside Out (The Apple Tree Group, 2006), were nominated in 2007 for a literary award and deal primarily with relationships, personal achievement and empowerment.
Eric is also a contributing author to the book No Glory Without a Story, released in May, 2010. Life’s A Gym: Seven Fitness Principles to Get the Best of Both is Eric’s third solo effort and was released as an eBook in September, 2015.
He is also founder and director of Their Eyes Were Watching Daddy, a non-profit empowerment and mentoring group for teens and single-dads.
Certifications and Licenses
Certified Personal Trainer, National Federation Professional Trainers
Certified Holistic Lifestyle Coach, John Spencer Ellis Institute
Certified Motivational Speaker, IAP Career College
Licensed Baptist Minister
Member, International Toastmasters