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
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/
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
Keep a gratitude journal. Every day, jot down a few
things or people that you are grateful to have in your life.
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.
Choose to be especially grateful to people you may not
even usually notice; mail carriers, sanitation workers, janitors, cashiers,
baggers, and construction workers.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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.
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.
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.
(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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.