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Entries in divorce (20)

Sunday
Dec222013

Co-Parenting Question of the Day: Is Your Co-Parent on Your Holiday Gift List?

So you've made your list, and checked it twice...And there's one person we're wondering if you've included: your chlld's other parent.

Whether your co-parent is naughty or nice, consider helping your child make or purchase a gift for her other parent.  Or, perhaps you can enlist a grandparent or other relative or friend to assist?  

Even if your co-parent doesn't reciprocate, this thoughtful gesture lets your child know that you care about the relationships that matter to him. And it further gives him permission to be close to both parents without guilt or fear about betraying anyone's loyalty, or having to choose one parent or the other.  This peace of mind is a gift from you to your child.

Not sure if your child wants to give a gift to your co-parent? Ask.  But if your co-parenting situation is a high-conflict one, holiday gift-giving may be a sensitive subject to broach.  You know best whether your gesture would be helpful to your child, or likely to fan the flames of tension with the other parent.

Now for a different question...

What gift are you giving yourself this holiday season?

We believe the gift of self-care is one of the greatest gifts a co-parent can give, anytime of year.  It's a gift that benefits both you and your child.  Especially if your kids are with their other parent during the holidays, it's a great time to grab some you-time, for a massage, to curl up with a good book, or to catch up on much-needed rest.

Not sure what to gift yourself? Here's a mini-gift guide for you or others on your list:

We wrote our book Co-Parenting 101: Helping Your Child Thrive in Two Households After Divorce as resource for co-parents, a guide for pursuing peace during the holidays and all year long.  It makes a great gift for yourself, your co-parent, or anyone caring for children who live in two households.

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One key to successful co-parenting is moving beyond your past relationship with your ex to build a parenting partnership that's child-centered.  Out with the old and in with the new.  In that same spirit, Deesha and Magda Pecsenye (Ask Moxie) are hosting Write Out 2013, Write In 2014a 6-hour online writing retreat on New Year’s Eve (before the parties and champagne get under way!). Write Out 2013, Write In 2014 uses writing to help process the past and clarify your desires for the future. Come write about co-parenting or any aspect of your life, and then ring in a New Year full of promise and new possibilities!

Writing Through Your Divorce Workshop...a place for women in all stages of divorce who write to process and who have something to say.

In January, Magda and Deesha will also be facilitating the 3rd session of Writing Through Your Divorce, their 12-week, online workshop for women at all stages of divorce--contemplating, separated, divorce, or remarried. If you write to process and have something to say, this is the worshop for you.

Finally, if you want to write to process privately, outside of a workshop format, check out the Writing Through Your Divorce e-workbook series

Writing to Survive Your Divorce (Without Strangling Your Ex)

So S/He Had An Affair: Writing To Keep From Losing Your Sh*t

So You Had an Affair: Writing While Wearing a Scarlet Letter

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Happy holidays from our co-parenting family to yours! We wish you the gift of peace and joy!

~Mike and Deesha

 

 photo of gift box courtesy of T. Al Nakib

 

 

Monday
Dec162013

Are YOU a Toxic Co-Parent?

photo by Chris Chidsey

We get lots of emails, tweets, and Facebook comments from parents who are struggling to co-parent with someone who is uncooperative, volatile, vengeful...in a word, toxic.  But in the 5+ years since we launched this site, no one has ever contacted us to say, "I'm a difficult, uncooperative, volatile, vengeful, co-parent, and..."  It's quite possible that our site is simply an anathema to such co-parents.  But it's also possible that someone can be a toxic co-parent and not realize it, or not want to admit it.  

In a recent post, Friend of Co-Parenting 101 psychologist Soila Sindiyo asks the question: Are YOU a toxic co-parent?  

No one sets out to be the unreasonable or toxic parent.  I know that divorce can and does bring out the worst in people.

Problem is, when there are children and these super negative emotions override any common sense, empathy, sympathy etc that you may have previously held and you are consumed by thoughts of how to make your ex’s life hell, you are also hurting your little ones.

Read here for Soila's profile of toxic co-parenting behaviors. Do you recognize yourself in any of these? If so, what steps can you take to make changes?

 

Sunday
Dec012013

"Co-Parenting Doesn't Have To Be A Battle": A Mom Introduces Her New Partner to Her Ex

Friend of Co-Parenting 101 and co-parenting mom Chanie shares a story about two very special people in her daughter's life meeting for the first time.

Most co-parents have nightmare stories to share like I do...but not this time. Crazy, right? I know I am just as shocked. It happens even when you think it is impossible because of all the co-parenting battles you have fought.

Last month, I picked up my daughter from her father’s house where she spent the weekend. As I have done many times before with her father’s knowledge, I arrived with the man I am currently dating. He respectfully waits in the car while I enter the house to pick up my daughter. My daughter has a great bond with both men, who after all these years had never met each other. Unprompted by anything specific, I randomly decided to introduce them to each other in my daughter’s presence.

It went well, amazingly well. So well that her father could not help himself and made me the butt of a joke. After I introduced the two, he said, Oh, I heard great things about you from her.” He pointed to our daughter then whispered,Not from her,” and pointed to me.

They both laughed and so did my daughter as I stood there with my mouth open from utter shock. This was a good shock and a measure of our progress as co-parents. Later, I reflected on the introduction and learned that my primary intent was to honor my daughter. It was simply time for the key adults in her life to interact in her presence. It is healthy for her to see that the people she spends time with regularly and loves dearly interact positively. Also, her father deserved to be honored as well as a co-parent. It is important for him to meet the person with whom his daughter has a close relationship. They are close to the point that they not only spend time together in and outside of our home, but also call and text each other regularly.

There is also the matter of honoring the person I am currently dating, who for years has cared for and loved my daughter as if his own child. He, too, deserved the honor of knowing my daughter’s father. I could not be happier and prouder of that unplanned moment. Everyone came together for my daughter. It was a great example for me to see that despite challenges, co-parenting does not have to be a battle.


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