Category: Parenting
Helpful Tips and Facts
Co-Parent Counseling for High Conflict Families
Co-Parent Counseling for High Conflict Families is a specific, therapeutic approach and program that can help break the pre-existing dynamic in a family where PAS is possible. Co-Parent counseling is not marital counseling. Among other goals, the short term therapy program is meant to teach divorcing parents new boundaries, personal agendas versus parenting agendas, letting go of past resentments and regaining parental power for both parents. Co-parent counseling can be requested and stipulated, or oftentimes, mandated by the court if a mediator or other recommending professional warrants it.
Starting a Stepfamily Right
There are a number of things you can do to ensure a solid start for your new stepfamily. First of all, recognize that this is a lengthy transition for everyone and success will not occur overnight. Research tells us that it takes stepfamilies 4-7 years to fully develop bonds. Knowing what to expect and keeping realistic expectations will curtail unnecessary worry and disappointment. Donít expect to love your stepchildren as your own in the beginning, you may never love them as your own and vice-versa. Again, maintaining realistic expectations is key to your long time happiness.
Parenting Coordinator
In NC, a Parenting Coordinator is an impartial person having a Masters or Doctorate in an appropriate field, at least 5 years postgrad experience and appropriate training. A PC can be appointed if there are children and it is deemed a high conflict case (i.e. excessive litigation; anger and mistrust; verbal abuse; physical aggression or threats of physical aggression, difficulty communicating and cooperating in care of minor child(ren); or conditions that in courtís discretion warrant the appointment of a PC. The specific duties of the PC are in the court order appointing same (generally designed to aid the parties: id disputed issues; reduce misunderstandings; clarify priorities; explore compromise; develop collaboration in parenting; and comply with courts order of custody, visitation or guardianship.
Use objectivity to communicate with your ex, not your children
It is difficult for the children when their parents divorce or separate. One of the ways to make it easier is to communicate directly with your ex-partner regarding the children. Asking simple questions can make the child feel uncomfortable and put in the middle. Let your child be a child, communicate directly with the other parent via an objective source.
Parallel Parenting & Co-Parenting
The concept of Parallel Parenting is designed to acknowledge the fact that different parenting styles can and do exist between homes. By recognizing the differences in a respectful manner, parents can model options for diversity rather than conflict with their co-parent.
Parenting Plans!
Children need both of their parents, and the parents need all the help they can get from each other in raising them. Harm to children from divorce is more closely related to conflict after the divorce, so your goal should be to make arrangements that both parents can live with agreeably, as clearly set out in the parenting plan. Avoid anything that makes either parent feel he or she is ďlosingĒ the child to the other parent. A child is not an object to be won or lost. Start communicating with your childrenís other parent to see what will work best for the children and still be comfortable for both of you.
Single Parenting Success: Want As Much
One of the surest ways to increase your happiness and establish a meaningful life after divorce is to want as much for others as you do for yourself - including your ex-spouse. What?! Wanting as much for your ex as you do for yourself? It sounds impossible, doesnít it? I assure you it isnít. In fact, itís the very thing that will bring more happiness and meaning into your life. By wanting as much for others as you do for yourself you immediately increase your joy and peace-of-mind. And hereís the best part: you donít even have to like or even understand your ex, you only have to want as much for him or her as you do yourself. You want a happy life, right? Want that for your ex as well. You donít have to do anything about it. Just genuinely wanting it for the other person is enough.
Mediation and Co-Parenting Go Hand and Hand
Divorce or co parenting education along with a mediation process is more effective than undergoing a mediation process alone. There are many excellent web resources that can provide practical co parenting tips. Do not hesitate to enter a divorce education class. They can be extremely helpful. Try www.extension.umn.edu/parentsforever.
Single Parenting Success: what you can do to have a great life as a single parent
The daily demands of life for any single parent (mom or dad) can be overwhelming and exhausting. With these few shifts, any single parent will be able to once again enjoy his/her family & life: 1. Stop comparing your divorced life to your married life. 2. Develop new traditions and connections with your children. 3. Put yourself at the TOP of your priority list. You are doing the work of two people. You and your self care come first. 4. Donít try to keep up with non-divorced families. Do what works best for you and your family. 5. Take time everyday to appreciate yourself.
Cooperative Parenting Strategies
In her book How to survive and Win as a Co-Parent, Arline S. Kerman suggests the following cooperative strategies for successful co-parenting: 1. Consult and confer with the other parent in a positive and nonconfrontational manner. 2. Respect the parenting style of the other parent. 3. Respect the other parentís religious practices. 4. Avoid arguments when the child is present 5. Respect the other parent as a person. 6. Accommodate the other parent if possible. 7. Respect the other parent as an equal parent. 8. Admit when you are wrong. 9. Respect the other parentís significant other. 10. Do not place the child in the middle. 11. Do not cross-examine the child. 12. Do not share negative feelings with the child. 13. Flexibility is reasonableness, not weakness. 14. Attend co-parenting sessions.
Tips for Getting Along as Co-Parents
Here are ten ways to make the most of divorced family life and thereby greatly reduce the chances a third party will need to intervene in an unstable domestic situation: 1. Don’t badmouth a former spouse in front of the children. 2. Don’t use the children as spies or messengers. 3. Reassure the children the divorce is not their fault. 4. Encourage frequent visitation with the other parent. 5. Remember the "best interests" of the children are paramount. 6. Don’t use the children as therapists. 7. Deal with alcohol and dependency problems. 8. Always pay child support on time. 9. Don’t worry the children about money woes. 10. If at all possible, do not uproot the children.
Helping Children Through Divorce
Divorced parents can help their children make adjustments by trying to imagine their own actions from the point of view of the child. Alos, teachers and children’s friends notice changes in behavior that indicate a child is having trouble coping with his or her parents’ divorce.
Setting the Divorce Aside
Divorce can be so overwhelming that some people who are in the midst of it find it difficult to talk about anything else. This can be true of a sole parent, who becomes a divorce "bore" and taxes her friends beyond the limit.
Introducing a New Relationship
Most people who divorce remarry eventually. A new partner should be introduced into the single-parent family with care. For example, parents should use care having new partner pick up his or her children for visitation, as a former spouse is likely to be very anxious during this changeover. The same is true for overnight stays.
Single Parenting - Flying Solo
Separation and divorce are a rough set of marching orders, particularly for the head of a single-parent family. One consolation is that there are many single-parent families, and they can find, if not answers, then at least company. If you are feeling stuck and overwhelmed, along and isolated, unable to make decisions, angry and hostile, counseling and support groups can help.
The Children Maintaining a Relationship with The Estranged Parent
The courts have ways of enforcing support but not visitation. While it is fairly common for parents to feel strongly about visitation, sometimes the noncustodial parent (usually the father) drifts away physically and emotionally. The custodial parent (usually the mother) normally cannot do much about this except keep in touch with the former spouse and make him (or her) know that visits are possible.
Primary Caregiver - Single Parenting
A primary caregiver -- particularly when she is a single mother with one or two small children -- had a tough set of marching orders. The stresses of even ordinary life, when nothing in particular goes wrong in a big way, make her lot difficult. Very often a primary caregiver finds herself emotionally at the edge. A former spouse, in the best of situations, can help somewhat, and this is another reasons to try to achieve as good as possible a working relationship with a former husband.
Parents Healing from Divorce
After a divorce, a major factor in recovery is getting along with the child’s other parent, who is the former spouse. A parent who continues to relive old hurts and injuries harms himself or herself and the children. Anger and guilt drain energy and imagination a divorced person needs to start anew.
Remembering the Children During Divorce and Separation
A child will often cling to the idea that somehow his or her mother and father will reunite. Divorced parents must make it clear to a child that this is not going to happen. 1. Remember that a noncustodial parent is still an equal parent. 2. Don’t bad-mouth the other parent. 3. Don’t complain to the child 4. Don’t use the child as a spy. 5. Don’t enlist the children as an ally. 6. Make the most of the visitation time. 7. Remember that support payments and visitation are independent of one another. 8. Be flexible if the child wants to spend more time with you. 9. Be prompt in picking up the children, punctual when returning them. 10. Keep the communication open between you and your former spouse.
Divorce Does Not Break the Bond of Parenting
When young children are involved, remember that as a divorced parent you are still going to have to deal with the child’s other parent until the child is grown and out of the house. If one spouse believes the divorce made him or her a victim, the well from which both of you must drink is poisoned.
Parenting After Divorce - A New Start
1. Don’t badmouth a former spouse in front of the children. 2. Don’t use the children as spies or messengers. 3. Reassure the children the divorce is not their fault. 4. Encourage visitation with the other parent. 5. Remember the "best interest" of the child is paramount. 6. Don’t use the children as therapists. 7. Deal with drug and dependency problems. 8. Always pay child support. 9. Don’t worry children with financial problems. 10. If at all possible, do not uproot the children.
The Penalty of Revenge
One inescapable fact should always be held in mind: a spouse who hurts the child’s other parent hurts the child.
Never Say Goodbye to Your Children
One very good reason for restraint in divorce is that former spouses must deal with each other as parents of their children. This becomes very difficult when one parent believes he or she is the loser in a zero-sum battle with the child’s other parent.
The Termination of the Bond of Marriage
If you have children, this is a great fact to live by and to remember always: "A divorce will end the bond between two parents, but it does not end the bond between each parent and a child."
Children Showing Attachment to One Parent
This is very normal and should not be discouraging for the estranged parent. Children tend to grasp for things and hold on tight when significant change is taking place around them. Time will help heal any divorcing situation, so patience is a must. The estranged parent should not take this sense of attachment to the other parent personally, but rather as a natural instinct of a worried child in a newly introduced unpredictable world.
Children Need Love More Than Ever During Divorce
Young children -- youngsters from six to eight who are old enough to understand the change if not the reasons for divorce -- suffer enormous sadness in their parents’ divorce. Children should be encouraged to voice their feelings and ask questions.
Remember the Children
Children are not "little adults"; each is an individual, and each child handles the pain, suffering and dislocation of a divorce in his or her own way. The age of a child at the onset of a divorce and his or her psychological development must be considered to minimize the damage of a divorce.
What Children Worry About
In a divorce or separation, the main concern of children is, "Whatís going to happen to me?". It is very important to address these concerns as soon as possible.