Co-Parenting from the Inside Out


Karen L. Kristjanson shares the stories of a variety of divorced and separated couples who co-parent.

Effective co-parenting, or sharing significant parenting time with an ex-spouse, is one of the best gifts separated parents can give to their children. The interviews in Co-Parenting from the Inside Out are with real moms and dads in diverse circumstances, showing them making choices, sometimes struggling, and often growing. Their stories offer insights into wise decision-making, as well as practical strategies that strengthen families. Parents can see that they are not alone as they navigate their feelings and build a future. While pain exists in most stories, there is also hope. Co-parents often feel that they have become more confident and compassionate, and parent better than before. The effects of their personal growth and their children’s are the silver lining in the dark pain of divorce.

Karen L. Kristjanson has brought together real life co-parenting stories that inspire separated parents and help them understand co-parenting better, offering practical tips and tools that directly benefit families.


Co-Parenting from the Inside Out offers us life and love-sustaining stories about co-parenting our children together, even when we are no longer together. The wisdom and struggle, the solutions and messiness reflected in these stories encourage us to remember what matters most — the loving, the caring and feeding of bodies and souls.

Oriah Mountain Dreamer, author of The Invitation and The Dance

“Stories can conquer fear, you know. They can make the heart larger,” wrote Ben Okri, Nigerian poet and novelist. Karen Kristjanson has gathered together co-parenting stories to make all of our hearts larger. For any family law or mental health professional who wants the Cliff notes on your first 50 cases – Karen provides insight and understanding one could rarely extract from a book, and for parents-now-co-parents who wonder how on earth others navigated this territory, this is the book for you. Karen’s writing style is engaging and welcoming — she invites you into the lives of real people with real struggles finding real resolutions with both guidance and the great healer, time.

Karen Bonnell, Author of The Co-Parent Handbook

In her new book Co-Parenting from the Inside Out Karen has captured the essence of parenting after divorce, featuring interviews with separated or divorced parents who both struggled and triumphed to put their children first. She tells their stories, and her own, with sensitivity and compassion, and provides practical solutions to get through the difficult times including false abuse allegations, long-distance parenting, unchecked resentment and anger, alienation, special needs children, parents with psychological disorders, and so much more. This book should be read by all parents who are searching for a way to do what’s right for their children upon marriage breakdown.

Georgialee Lang BA JD FCIArb, family law attorney and arbitrator

Karen Kristjanson’s new book, Co-Parenting from the Inside Out, is a must read for any parent facing decisions about caring for their children after divorce. Kristjanson tells her own story of divorce and co-parenting trials in a moving and poignant way. Her recounting of the stories of parents facing the same challenges shows the creative ways people can come at this tough situation. The stories illustrate how parents grapple with supporting themselves as well as their children with grace while moving through the difficult passages of divorce. What will you gain by reading this book? Your own story will jump off the page at you as you read similar stories of struggle and success. You’ll feel supported by the common experience you share with others. You’ll find helpful strategies to approach the co-parenting process. Most importantly, you will see there is hope for you and your children and a chance for great personal growth.

Deborah White, BSW, Masters/Applied Behavioural Science, mediator

Karen Kristjanson has written an honest and profound book about the realities of co-parenting. She focuses on the needs of children as well as parents and shows how the two are linked. We need to change our negative language around separation and divorce. Kristjanson shows us how by using the language of growth and change. This is a must-read book for the many men and women living through this transition.

Michael Reist, author of Raising Emotionally Healthy Boys and Raising Boys in a New Kind of World

This book is a truly eye-opening read and an essential resource for those considering co-parenting.

Our Children Magazine

About the Authors

Karen L. Kristjanson

Posted by Dundurn Guest on February 21, 2017

Karen L. Kristjanson

Karen L. Kristjanson, M.Sc., M.A., is a professional life coach, writer, and member of Leading Women for Shared Parenting. A co-parent herself, she has over thirty years’ experience supporting adults tackling change. Kristjanson writes for Divorce Magazine and Huffington Post Canada. She lives in Surrey, British Columbia.

Edward Kruk

Posted by Dundurn Guest on August 8, 2017

Edward Kruk

Edward Kruk is associate professor of social work at the University of British Columbia. As a child and family social worker he has practised in the fields of welfare rights, child protection, school social work, and family services. He is currently teaching and practicing in the areas of family mediation and addiction.