Katherine Woodward Thomas, creator of the “Conscious Uncoupling” program, shares the origins of the term, and 5-steps to respectfully end a romantic relationship, heal, and create your own “happily EVEN after life.”
The concept of ‘Productive conflict” feels a bit oxymoronic. However, not only is conflict a natural part of every life, it is often where great ideas begin. Combat in conflict is a choice. Conflict, in its true form, is an opportunity to make good decisions based on facts, interests and goals. When you mediate with Cooperative Strategies, we prepare for productive, positive conflict. It is possible! Business strategist, Julia Dhar recently discussed the necessary tools in her Ted Talk entitled, How to disagree productively and find common ground. These tools can be applied to any conflict. Check it out.
Divorce can be the beginning of your ‘happily ever after.” You have the power to shape your divorce experience, and set your life on a positive path toward a fulfilling future. The power is in YOUR perspective. In her Ted Talk, Disrupting the Divorce Experience. Defining Your Next Chapter, Sadie Bjornstad discusses strategies she learned during her own divorce that led her on a transformative journey.
You opened your heart to love again, now remarriage is on the horizon. If your new relationship includes children, there are specific steps you can take to cultivate a healthy blended family. Check out, Couples Considering a Blended Family, for excellent tips on how to build a solid stepfamily foundation.
It is easy to understand why amicable coparenting is important. However, understanding how to create a successful coparenting team may seem impossible. The article, Co-Parenting Tips for Divorced Parents: Making Joint Custody Work After a Divorce or Separation, does an excellent job identifying the challenges, and providing practical solutions that can be implemented today.
Many studies have shown that children are best served when both parents are actively involved in their children's lives after divorce. In fact, laws regarding custody are rooted in the belief that joint physical and legal custody are in the best interest of children. A new study conducted by researchers from Stockholm University is the first to examine the relationship between shared physical custody and stress in children. Researchers found that children in families that share physical custody experienced less stress than those who spent most of their time with one parent. More surprisingly, they found this outcome even in families where the parents did not get along, or the child did not have a good relationship with one parent. For more about this study, follow the link to check out the article, Shared custody equals less stress for children.
British singer and songwriter James TW, wrote a song for a young drum student whose parents had decided to divorce, but had yet to give their child the news. In it, he beautifully captures how children often experience this difficult family transition, and the loving messages children need to remain resilient throughout the process, and open to love in their own lives. In an interview with Genius James shared, "The tricky part was writing a song about something that a lot of people view as a negative thing and saying sometimes it is for the best. It can be a good thing when divorce happens because it means the child will be in a more comfortable environment in the long run." Check out his moving video below.
Contrary to popular belief, negotiation should not be a battle between 'winners' and 'losers' fixed on clearly delineated outcomes. When parties come together to truly understand each other's needs; then collaborate to determine how each can maximize the opportunities, the result is a sustainable agreement that satisfies both parties. Carol Dweck, author of Mindset, calls this a 'win-win' approach to negotiation, and discusses how to use a 'growth mindset' to achieve it in her enlightening article, Negotiating Life. Follow the link to learn how to negotiate 'win-wins' in all aspects of your life.
"Into each life, a little rain must fall" ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
As parents, we go to great lengths to protect our children from pain of all kinds. However, protecting our children from every bump and bruise in life is simply impossible. Despite best efforts, all children will experience pain as a family transitions through divorce. Supporting them through that pain, and giving them tools to develop lifelong skills to weather the storms of life should be our focus. Check out the article, The Most Valuable Thing a Parent Can Do for Their Kids, by Glennon Doyle Melton to see how she tackled this task.
In his article, Trust for Children of Divorce: Seven Ways to Revitalize Your Children's Trust, psychologist, John T. Chirban, Ph.D, Th.D, discusses how a child's experiences during divorce can undermine their ability to trust, and hinder healthy emotional development. He shares seven excellent strategies for repairing, building and maintaining your child's trust during and after divorce.
"A girl's father is the first man in her life, and probably the most influential." ~D. Jeremiah
Strong parent/child relationships are important for healthy social and emotional development of children. However, when meaningful parental access is limited or involves conflict, children may suffer from low self-esteem and other depressive symptoms. Recent studies show that girls are particularly vulnerable to negative outcomes when fathers are absent from their lives. In her article, "8 Ways Dads Can Empower Their Daughters Post-Divorce," therapist and author, Terry Gaspard discusses how important the Father/Daughter relationship is to a girl's development, and practical tips to create and maintain a bond that protects her psychological well-being.
"The future is not something we enter. The future is something we create" ~L. Sweet
Whether you are contemplating divorce or are well along your journey, you have the power to create a good future for yourself and your children post divorce. In the article, How to Prepare for Divorce: 48 Experts Share Their Best Tips, various experts, including financial specialists, child and family therapists and divorce coaches provide strategies for navigating the divorce process in a way that promotes a positive outcome for all parties.
Far removed from her days as TV's fun loving tween Blossom, actress Mayim Bialik, now a divorced mother of two, shares excellent advice for cooperative coparenting. Follow the link to see for yourself! Mayim Bialik Video
In the article, Co-Parenting Tips for Divorced Parents, psychologists, Jocelyn Block, M.A., and Melinda Smith, M.A., provide practical strategies for creating the cooperative parenting partnership children need to become healthy adults. Consistent and productive communication between parents is necessary to maintain a stable, nurturing environment for children. It isn't easy. Often hurt and anger make communication difficult at best. This article tackles that challenge head on with specific steps you can take today to set your coparenting relationship on a productive path.
The emotional challenges children typically experience while adjusting to divorce are well documented. Less is said about how divorce can negatively impact a child's education. In her article, How A Child's Education is Affected Post-Divorce, Karie Boyd discusses the potential academic effects, and provides tips on how best to avoid them.
Many couples put off divorce until their children are adults and have left home, hoping to spare them the difficulties young children often experience. Adult children are spared some of the challenges young children endure associated with shared parenting time, and exposure to conflict. However, adult children do experience loss and pain. There are ways parents can protect their adult children and set a foundation for strong family bonds for future generations. In her article, How to Tell Your Adult Child You're Divorcing, Erica Manfred discusses several recommended strategies.
In her article, Top Ten Ways to Protect Your Kids from the Fallout of a High Conflict Divorce, renowned clinical psychologist and researcher, Joan B. Kelley, PhD., gives sound advice for parents who, in spite of their best efforts, find themselves in high conflict separations. Just as we provide our children with protection for difficult and dangerous weather, we must also protect their hearts and minds from the dangerous effects of parental conflict.
In her TED Talk, "The Impact of Divorce on Children," professor Tamara D. Afifi discusses the emotional and physical impact divorce/separation has on children. Specifically, how the amount of conflict children witness increases the intensity of the negative effects they experience. Dr. Afifi, also provides clear strategies for diminishing conflict and supporting children with positive communication techniques. Follow the link to view her talk on YouTube.
Hanif Virani, founder of Coparently.com was 10 when his parents divorced. The family's transition was difficult. Like many children, he believed his parents' separation was his fault and the arguments about miscommunications and schedules upset him deeply. Coparently.com, an online custody calendar/communication program was born out of his desire to "improve the lives of separated families and ease difficult communications." In his article, Children and Divorce: What I Wished My Divorcing Parents Had Known, Hanif lists 6 important steps every parent should take to support the health and well-being of their children.
"Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties." ~Helen Keller
A happy new year is not the result of well wishes. It comes from intention followed by action. Check out an excellent strategy for success in the article, "10 Ways to Prepare for a Happy and Successful New Year" by Kevin Daum.