Tammy and Jay Daughtry: A Roadmap of Hope for CoParenting - Tammy and Jay Daughtry: A Roadmap of Hope for CoParentingCenter for Modern Family Dynamics | Nashville Christian Family Magazine August 2023 issue - free Christian magazine

CoParenting International celebrates two decades of impact in 2023. Dedicated to being a voice for children impacted by divorce, as well as serving single parents, stepparents, and blended families with relationship education, communication resources, and support, it offers hope that children won’t live in a post-divorce war between their parents.

“At CoParenting International, we lower conflict to support shared children who live between mom’s house and dad’s house apart. Passionately supporting life-long marriage, CoParenting International helps break the repetitive cycle of divorce as well as bring hope-filled, respectful engagement between divorced parents so that children can enjoy their childhood, thrive between two homes, and grow up believing that marriage matters.”

Tammy and Jay Daughtry

Passion for helping children and parents stems from Tammy Daughtry’s experiences with the child “handoff” on Friday and Sunday nights as she grew up. Some handoffs were very difficult because of the conflict between her divorced parents.

Tammy is a therapy and relationship expert, working with celebrities, athletes, Navy Seals, Army chaplains, and Air National Guard Family Readiness leaders as well as therapists, school administrators, social workers, and family courts. She also works in person with individuals and families in the Nashville area as well as nationwide via Zoom. Military parents who face divorce during deployment thank her from other countries because they find hope through her position as a co-parent and a very strong advocate for fathers. Tammy cheers for dads and their importance in their children’s lives and has helped hundreds of divorced dads keep pursuing their fatherhood regardless of difficult circumstances.

Jay Daughtry is a former pastor and youth leader who sadly lost his childhood sweetheart in a tragic car accident in 2006—life-altering grief—after twenty-one years of marriage. Jay has called Nashville home since 2006. His passion for hurting families comes authentically as he, too, is an adult child of divorce and was a widower and single father for over three years before remarrying. The challenge of rearing a blended family of four children is one he says was “only achieved through God’s grace and challenging couple and parenting moments behind closed doors.” He is also creative with a long history in leading worship, songwriting, sharing the joy of music through playing guitar and singing, and finding deep fulfillment as a coparenting trainer.

“We enjoy traveling to Ireland as part of our love of music and songwriting as well as spending time with our five amazing grandchildren in our house of love and chaos. There’s a passing on of wisdom that comes between generations. We enjoy that in our three-generation family home. As parents, sometimes we focus so much on ‘we’ve got to raise these kids’ that we miss the one-step-removed parenting present in a grandparent perspective. Random conversations can even lead to radical conversions. In making hard decisions, it’s always important to wait on the witness of peace from Christ because confusion and distraction and frustration are the enemy’s tools. Sadly, most of our culture has lost this generational blessing.”

Faith Journeys

When Tammy was fifteen, God used two people to prepare her heart in coming to Christ: Ori, a summer camp counselor, and Chip, a young man who lived in another town. They had a powerful influence and created a strong curiosity about Jesus. Being a high extrovert, Tammy never met a stranger, including a young lady down the street who was shoveling snow one afternoon. The new friend, Melody, invited her to church, and that very night, October 17, 1984, Tammy gave her life to Christ. She was a high-school sophomore and ready to change the world. She started the first Fellowship of Christian Athletes at her high school in Denver and planned her first city-wide event for New Year’s Eve in 1986. Tammy reflects on the significant friendships she had with Erica and Carolyn and the blessing their families were to her growing-up years. Tammy also has been deeply impacted by the faith of her grandparents and parents, the Gallegos and Grasmick families, who pointed her toward a relationship with God, and by her life-long mentors, Steve and Cora Alley. “The Alleys came into my life in 1987 as my college professors in California and are still two of my closest friends; they have shown me what Christ-centered marriage walks and talks like: focusing on trying to out-serve your partner every day.” Tammy thanks God for giving her a marriage with Jay (“Mr. Wonderful”) that is delightful, enjoyable, and full of laughter and unconditional love, much like she watched with Steve and Cora.

Jay honors his grandmother, Lillian Monroe, as the one who “assured church opportunities every weekend and planted the seeds that ultimately became my faith. Eventually, she suggested I ‘might listen to the pastor rather than be occupied with the peppermint candies or doodling.’ So, I began listening and wondering about what he was saying. I remember giving my heart to the Lord during VBS (Vacation Bible School). During my teen years, I fell away from my earlier commitment until interest in a pastor’s daughter, Diane, enticed me back. She always invited me to come to church where her father, Oren Nelson, pastored in a little Nazarene church. Finally, this wild-eyed wrestler showed up at the church, and I’m sure no matter what the sermon topic for preaching was that day, he determined it was going to end with a call to salvation. It was a beautiful moment when the Spirit opened my heart with ‘Remember? Come on back home. I’ve been missing you.’ I made a home with that young lady and our three children for the next 21 years.”

Combining Insights

With over 55% of children living in non-traditional families, the Daughtrys feel it critical to find a roadmap through the complexities of coparenting. Their mission is bringing HOPE where life hurts.

After Jay and Tammy married, Jay decided to pursue a degree similar to what Tammy had just completed: a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Trevecca Nazarene University. In 2014, Jay graduated on a Saturday in May, and on Monday, he and Tammy opened The Center for Modern Family Dynamics in Nashville.

As adult children of divorce, single parents, and stepparents, Tammy and Jay have a personal passion for children impacted by divorce and remarriage. Together they developed The Center to provide private sessions, coaching, and support for individuals, couples, and families. Tammy is a Harper Collins/Zondervan author of Co-parenting Works! Helping Your Children Thrive After Divorce. The couple has extensive media experience with radio, having been guests at both Focus on the Family and Family Life Radio, as well as numerous local and national podcasts and presenting or training at professional seminars.

Together, the Daughtrys oversee CoParenting International. They are a blended-family couple that merged with four children in 2009 (Tammy had one child and had divorced in 2001, and Jay had three children and had become a widower in 2006). They have enjoyed the addition of two sons-in-love and five amazing grandkids. Tammy and Jay are sought-after trainers who speak on single parenting, stepparenting, understanding complex families, understanding emotional abuse, co-parenting during the holidays, and protecting the couple bond in a blended family marriage.

Tammy and Jay co-created One Heart, Two Homes: Coparenting Kids of Divorce to a Positive Future (2014), now available digitally in over 30,000 organizations around the globe. “One Heart, Two Homes is designed to educate, encourage, and inspire Church Leaders, Counselors, Group Leaders, and Moms and Dads to understand and implement strategies to protect the hearts of children experiencing parental division.”

Now, via the BrightCourse.com platform, One Heart, Two Homes is available in over 4,000 pregnancy centers around the globe. What a joy to not only advocate for choosing life but for helping fathers. This curriculum can be for home study, small groups, Sunday schools, or for counseling and is a flexible, user-friendly resource effective in myriad contexts. For those who have a passion for this work, in-depth training is offered at the Coparenting International website that will provide certification as a group facilitator or a full-fledged CoParenting Strategist.

One Heart, Two Homes, including six voice actors, was translated into the Spanish language in 2022 by A & P International. All associated materials are available in Spanish due to a generous matching grant from The Father’s Table in Florida. The resource tackles such tough topics as handling the hand-off, communicating through conflict, what kids need emotionally at each age/stage of life, 10 things kids of divorce wish they could tell their parents, stabilizing yourself as a single parent, and dating after divorce—realizing that dating is not a game.

Next Steps

In fall 2023 a new video project, Unplanned Grandparenting: Casting a Vision of Hope and Grace for Your Son or Daughter When Facing an Unexpected Pregnancy, will release in August at Care Net International. The hope is to equip and empower parents to lovingly show support and love to their child in these circumstances instead of pushing them away or pulling away from them. There are over 15 guests who share insights and guidance on the many challenges involved when facing an unexpected pregnancy. The videos will be on BrightCourse this fall with the hope of partnering with many other organizations to help support families in the journey towards life.

Considering your unique perspective, Dear Reader, the question is “How will I offer a roadmap of HOPE to complex families in my community?” Reach out to Jay and Tammy at CoparentingInternational.com for encouragement, resources, and support.

Sheila E. Moss: author of Living to Matter: Mothers, Singles, and the Weary and Broken; Interrupting Women: Ten Conversations with Jesus; and international publications derived from teaching Bible and Christian ethics in Africa, Ukraine, Venezuela, and England; teacher of Bible classes for 35+ years; mother of five adult children and grandmother of eleven

One Heart, Two Homes: Co-parenting Kids of Divorce to a Positive Future is now available in over 34,000 organizations via RightNow MediaRightNowMedia @Work,  and BrightCourse.com. This co-parenting material, giving churches a relevant resource, has 31 lessons grouped into 10 classes featuring Tammy and Jay, as well as 31 other guests who lend their voices, expertise, and life experience for single parents and stepparents who share children between two homes. www.CoParentingInternational.com
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