Parenting Coordination ~ Not
just for after the fact!!
As a Mediator I am always attempting
to encourage people to make every effort to keep their separation and divorce issues out of the courtroom. As a realist, I understand that this is not always possible and many families do end up litigating many
What many parents, as well as legal professionals,
are either not aware of or not accessing is the service of a Parenting Coordinator to assist in the preparation and maintenance
of a Parenting Plan outside of the legal arena.
While the lawyers are diligently working
toward financial settlements for your matter, would it not make sense to make decisions for your future relationships with
your children together? Make a plan with the assistance of a professional experienced
in Family Dynamics as well as being familiar with the various laws that affect your family unit?
It has to be about the children. It has to be about what is best for them. It has to stop being about ownership and “the win” if you wish to maintain
a long term and healthy relationship as a parent.
Since when did our children start
taking on the role of surrogate spouses?
I have been working with divorcing
families for several years, both in and out of the courts, and I have to say that the most disturbing practice that I have
encountered is the use of our children as sounding boards to the anxities, fears and angers about the marital relationship.
When did the job of being a parent
lose its responsibility to provide an emotionally safe, child friendly environment?
Also, parents vent about their children
in intact, happy families without one running to the children to share those negative thoughts and feelings about
them by their other parent. So why is it okay to do that after a separation?
The obvious intent is to alienate
the child from that parent, and while I recognize that not every parent is conscious of the reason for this practice, I do
assert that every parent should consider taking on the services of a qualified professional to assist them in making good
choices for their children. No matter how difficult, or bitter a pill to swallow.
What every divorcing parent needs to
understand is that while you may win a battle or two today, you will lose the war when the child grows up and realizes the
intended alienation. And make no mistake, they will realize it.
Learn, my friends....It has to be about
What is it about the end of
a relationship that causes us to revert back to our ‘terrible two’s’?
One of the most common characteristics
that I have observed in my clients throughout the separation and divorce process has been the digression in character to using
the tactics we all see in our children.
Grown men and women using passive-aggressive
techniques to undermine the confidence and/or stability of their former partner in an effort to regain some personal footing
in an effort to achieve a ‘win’.
Or we have the adult use of the ‘even
bad attention is attention just the same’ concept by creating chaos, distress and inconvenience to get a rise out of
While these kinds of behaviour can be
self-satisfying, for say a minute or two, they are a counterproductive and dangerous strategy in terms of your ultimate end-goal.
No one is an expert at managing the processes
of separation, custody and access and property settlements. Even if it is your
second time around, every situation is different and how you behave, communicate and carry yourself will have either a positive
or negative impact on the outcome.
I also find these behaviours screaming
along throughout the ongoing co-parenting of the children which can continue for years.
Your children rely on you, as the adults,
to provide role models of appropriate behaviour.