15.03.2017
Well Spring Counseling -
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by Tim Hackes If you’re a parent either at the beginning or finalizing a divorce, then you are most likely about to embark on a new journey – the journey of a co-parent. And, while you might not feel like parenting as a couple or parenting as co-parents is all that different, co-parents must endure certain challenges that married parents do not. As a co-parent you have to deal with sharing time with your child, less communication with your child’s other parent, and you have the Family Court to answer to. The good news is all of this can make you an even better parent if you choose to work at it. 3 Tips for Successful Co-Parenting Co-parenting is definitely going to require some adjustments. Here are a few ways to make the adjustments that will be best for you and your child. Think Positively - A necessity for any Idaho couple seeking a divorce with children is that they must have a custody and visitation schedule. You have the option to work with the other parent to create one, or you can instead rely on the family court system to do so. While many parents in heated divorce battles try and use this part of the process to attack their soon-to-be ex-spouse, such as trying to unfairly arrange time spent with the children or refusing to compromise on provisions the other parent feels are the most important, this isn’t in the best interest of your child. Thinking positively for the sake of you child instead of trying to attack your spouse is a much better path to take. Your child and the court system will both be able to see the difference. Understand it’s a Team Effort If you’re in a co-parenting situation, it’s pretty safe to say you and your child’s other parent did not make a great couple. That doesn’t mean you can’t make a great team. Unless there are some extreme circumstances, you will have some form of joint custody. You won’t be with your child 100% of the time. By working with your former spouse instead of opposing them as far as the parenting plan and custody schedule go, you’ll develop a plan that suits the needs of your child much better. Lead by Example It’s very easy to get emotionally overrun during a divorce. It’s also easy to constantly belittle your spouse. That might not be the best approach as far as your child’s wellbeing goes. While you may not get along with your spouse, they are still your child’s other parent. By relentlessly attacking them you degrade their authority in the eyes of your children. And, if you realize that working as a team is the best path forward, then treat your spouse with the respect deserving of a parent.   Co-parenting, as the name suggests, is about two parents working together in the best interests of their children. It’s not always the easiest thing for both parents to do, especially since these same two people had enough friction between them to lead to a divorce. However, both parents also hopefully have the same goal, which is raising happy and healthy children. By putting your children first, working as a team, and acting like the role model you are, you’re on your way to being a successful co-parent and co-parenting duo.  For more information, please see https://www.custodyxchange.com/guides/co-parenting/
09.03.2017
Well Spring Counseling -
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Courtesy of http://www.essentiallybewell.com/ by Shanna Stubblefield Would you like to make friends easier? Sleep better? Have higher self-esteem? Suffer from fewer aches and pains? Experience less anger, resentment and bitterness? Have a deeply purposeful life? Have less stress and feel more content with life?   Sounds pretty incredible, doesn’t it. But it’s not only possible, but pretty easy. Achieving every one of those life improvements has been scientifically proven by doing one simple thing.  That one simple thing is to cultivate and experience gratitude more often. Here are ten easy ways to foster gratitude.  Choose one or two or all ten and get started today! 1.    Keep a gratitude journal. Every day, jot down a few things or people that you are grateful to have in your life. 2.    Carry thank you notes in your car, purse, or brief case. When you are stuck in traffic or in a waiting room, write a short, heartfelt note of gratitude to someone who has helped you in any way. 3.    Choose to be especially grateful to people you may not even usually notice; mail carriers, sanitation workers, janitors, cashiers, baggers, and construction workers. 4.    Write a thank you letter to somebody who helped you become the person you are today; a teacher, a parent, a friend, a religious leader, or a mentor. 5.    Every day, choose to be grateful for seemingly small things; sunshine, toast, warm blankets, hot showers, chocolate, hugs, handshakes, cool breezes, blooming flowers, snowflakes, colorful leaves, shade trees, lemonade, good books, etc. 6.    Get to know and learn to appreciate somebody who is different than you; whether it be somebody from a different religion, political persuasion, culture, or economic background. 7.    Give out hugs. Hug a police officer, a teacher, a neighbor, the cashier at your local convenience store, a child, a spouse, a new friend, somebody who has forgiven you, somebody you have chosen to forgive, etc. 8.    Teach a child to have gratitude. Bake cookies with a child and deliver them to neighbors, teachers, or friends. Help a child write a thank you letter to servicemen and women in the military. Always show gratitude for any courtesy extended to you, especially in the presence of a child. 9.    Choose to be grateful for positive things that have resulted from trials, heartaches and disappointments. For example, the ability to go back to school after a divorce, a change in career after a job loss, the outpouring of support and love after a death, learning to be more independent after a breakup etc. 10.  Have gratitude for yourself. Appreciate your own body for what it can do. Can you walk up a flight of stairs? Can you walk a mile? Can you run a mile? Can you hold a child’s hand? Can you feel the sunshine on your cheeks? Can you carry a bag of groceries? Can you plant a garden? Can you smell a rose?  Recognize and appreciate good qualities in yourself. Are you kind? Are you a good listener? Do you forgive others? Are you a hard worker?  Do you have an eye for detail?  Are you artistic or musical? Are you understanding and compassionate?  Are you passionate about your work? Return to the Well Spring Counseling website.
09.02.2017
Well Spring Counseling -
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(Photo courtesy of jokideo.com)   by Shana Stubblefield.... If your week is anything like mine, it is often full of surprises, full schedules, disappointments and little down-time. But it’s easier to recharge and improve your day in as little as one minute.  Try these quick stress busters that are quick, easy and effective. Consciously smile-----the act of smiling itself lightens your mood. Take a minute to stretch-----reach for the sky, reach for your toes. It’s amazing what a little stretching can do for not only your mood but also tense and sore muscles. Step outside-----just stepping outside can lighten your mood. If you have more than a few seconds, take a quick walk, even if it’s just around the block. Take three deep breaths-----make sure you are breathing deeply and through your belly.  Your shoulders can hold tension if you are only breathing shallowly  through your lungs. Consciously focus on bringing your breath through to the bottom of your belly. Look at pictures of loved ones----looking at pictures of loved ones is scientifically proven to reduce stress and bring feelings of joy. Make sure you have those family pictures in your office and in your wallet.  A cute picture of a child or grandchild on the dashboard of your car can help fight stressful driving and reduce stress during long commutes. Sing-----that’s right; go ahead and sing. No one has to hear you.  Try it in the car on your way to work or to pick up the kids.  Singing for just ten minutes can reduce stress. Take a quick vacation in your mind------take a minute to close your eyes and remember the sights, smells, and sounds of a lovely place you have visited or imagine a place you would like to visit. Be grateful----show gratitude to those you work with, your spouse, your children. Focus on the positive things in your life.  Gratitude is one of the greatest stress relievers. Life, these days, is hectic and moving fast. Be sure to take a minute to de-stress with one or more of these techniques as often as you can  For more great information on improving your mental health, visit www.wellspringcounselingllc.com. We’d love to see your comments.  Have you tried any of these things to control your own stress?  Do you have other great stress-buster ideas? Back to the Well Spring Counseling website.
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