At Resolve Conflict Family Lawyers and Mediators our focus is always on the children and finding divorce solutions that keep their welfare front and centre.

Coping with parenting when your children are split between two households and two parents, and in some cases, partners and grandparents, is difficult.  You need patience and a good dollop of kindness and understanding to manage your children.  You also need to have a commitment to consistency between parents.  Setting boundaries and keeping disciplinary measures in place will make life easier for everyone all round, including the children.

Here are some tips that will help you along the way:

  • Try to keep the same rules in place that were followed before the separation. If your kids weren’t allowed to watch television after 6pm don’t suddenly decide that it is OK for them to do that. When kids are feeling like their world is changing, they need to have some sameness in their daily routine.  Maintaining household rules and standards can give them a sense of stability.

 

  •  If you have a less than cordial relationship with your ex try to enlist the help of a 3rd party to discuss discipline for the children.  To have consistency across both homes will be a great help to you both, no matter how hard that is to achieve.

 

  •  No matter how hard it is, for your children’s sake, don’t reverse each other’s decisions.  It will only confuse your children.   And don’t say yes when you had agreed to say no.

 

  •  Most of all – don’t discuss your personal views of the other parent with your child and never try to turn your children against the other parent. Remember, this person is still your child’s father or mother and they deserve the right to have their relationship with them untarnished by your views.  In years to come they will be able to make up their own mind, but for now, hold your tongue. No matter how hurt or angry you are, keep your opinions to yourself and spend some time venting with a close friend, not your children.

 

  •  Living between two houses can be tough.  Try to achieve a routine that kids can feel comfortable with which will help make them feel secure, and help them manage the division of clothes and other personal items at home and school so they never have the added stress of being without something as it’s at ‘the other parents house’.

It can be a difficult and awkward time transitioning to a two-parent lifestyle but a good result can be achieved. Above all keep talking with your children about how they are feeling and what they are experiencing.

For more information on how you can separate and divorce with or without court please contact our office  – 9620 0088

 

A Parenting Plan that Works for You and Your Children

by resconflict on November 22, 2017

Parenting PlanA parenting plan is a vital agreement between co-parents to ensure that their children transition into their new routines. The following excerpt from family therapist, Jean McBride, illustrates why and how a workable Parenting Plan is worth is’t weight in gold.

A Parenting Plan that Works for You and Your Children

By Jean McBride via divorcehelpforparents.com

A good, solid, workable parenting plan is worth it’s weight in gold. Think of it as a roadmap that will get you off of those confusing unmarked back roads of parenting after divorce and return you to the easy-to-navigate super highway that gets you exactly where you want to go. Sounds nice doesn’t it? Having a workable, effective plan is more than nice, it’s a necessity for success. 

Many Parents have only a Bare Bones Parenting Plan

Before I describe the benefits of having an effective parenting plan, let me describe what happens when you don’t have one, or have only a bare bones excuse for a plan. Your children pay the price.

  • They end up missing out on time with one parent or the other
  • They miss out on time with their friends or participating in activities
  • They may not receive timely or adequate medical care
  • They may not receive important psychological care
  • They lose touch with grandparents and other extended family
  • They feel frustrated, sad, disappointed, and angry much of the time because their lives aren’t working very well
  • They resent their parents for getting divorced in the first place or for putting them in the middle of parental disagreements or power struggles

It’s not a pretty picture! And yet, it’s one that I often see among my clients. Why? There are a number of reasons that parents end up with only a minimal or ineffective parenting plan. Chief among them is that parents are trying to think through how they are going to parent their children after divorce during one of the most stressful, emotion-filled times of their lives. It is an overwhelming, daunting task for even the best of parents.

Related Article: The five Cs of separation and divorce

Benefits of a Well-Designed Parenting Plan 

Earlier I said that having a well-designed plan is worth it’s weight in gold to parents. I mean that. When the day-to-day decisions of your life as a parent are planned for and running like clockwork, children and adults alike can breathe easy. When you know how you are going to handle special events, holidays, vacations, medical care etc. your brain and your blood pressure are going to thank you. Of course there will always be some event that hasn’t been planned for – just to keep you on your toes! After all we are talking about human families here. But generally, your life and the lives of your children will go much more smoothly. 

Here are just a few of the many benefits of having a good parenting plan:

  • Peace of mind for adults and children
  • Less stress
  • You put a safety net under your children so they don’t fall through the cracks
  • You are able to focus on parenting your children when they are with you rather than fighting with the other parent
  • You and your children have a schedule that provides emotional safety and routine
  • You are able to make plans for the times when you have your children with you and when they are with the other parent
  • You are able to avoid going back to court to solve parenting disputes

What Goes Into an Effective Plan?

Remember this about your parenting plan: one size does not fit all. The plan you and your child’s other parent develop will be as unique as each of the individuals in your divorced family. The ideal plan will take into consideration all of your family members’ needs – especially your children’s needs. Try to see this experience through your children’s eyes. It will likely be quite different from yours.

Related Article: How to talk to your children about divorce

Essential Elements

  • A clear, well defined schedule including provisions for holidays, vacations, school vacations etc.
  • Outline of who is responsible for making decisions and how those decisions are made if both parents are responsible.
  • A plan for who provides transportation to the other parent’s home and to extracurricular events etc.
  • A plan for financial responsibilities for each parent.
  • A plan for specific parenting responsibilities (e.g. who stays home when a child is sick; who goes on school field trips and other events; who helps with homework; who takes kids to medical and dental appointments etc.)
  • A forum for managing disagreements when they arise.
  • A system for sharing information.
  • A timetable to evaluate and change the parenting plan if needed.

For more articles please visit the Resolve Conflict Blog here. If you have any queries on Family Law or Mediation please don’t hesitate to contact us on 03 9620 0088 or email info@resolveconflict.com.au

How Grandparents Can Help Grandchildren Adjust To The Challenges Of DivorceThe following article looks at how parents can help their adult children through divorce and support their grandchildren through this transitional stage of the family unit.

How Grandparents Can Help Grandchildren Adjust To The Challenges Of Divorce

By Rosalind Sedacca, Divorce & Parenting Coach and author of How Do I Tell the Kids about the Divorce? via huffingtonpost.com

Grandparents are often caught in the tensions between parents when divorce takes place. Eager to help ease the situation, many grandparents are confused about how they can play a part in addressing the pain, confusion and other emotional issues that may be affecting their innocent grandkids. Every divorce is unique there are no cookie-cutter solutions that do the trick, but there are some guidelines to keep in mind, especially in regards to being there for your grandchildren.

If you haven’t been close to the kids beforehand, post-divorce is a difficult time to develop a relationship. But if you already have that bond established, it’s important to keep the ongoing connection at this time when the children are facing so many unknowns.

When communication and trust are strong between you and your grandchildren, it’s easier to bring up issues that concern you for a chat. Children who are comfortable in their relationship with you are more likely to confide their frustrations, fears and insecurities to you. Keep in mind that it’s always more effective to offer advice once they ask or bring the subject up. Then you can share your wisdom in an age-appropriate manner.

Related Article: 12 Books to help your children with separation and divorce

One important word of caution: If you are going to discuss issues regarding divorce or other life challenges, it is essential that you discuss this subject first with the children’s parents to get permission in advance!

It’s never a grandparent’s place to interfere where you are not welcome, tempting as it may be. So bring up the topic you want to talk about with your own adult child or son- or daughter-in-law first. Explain your concern on behalf of the children, and what message you’d like to share with them. If their parent approves, then give it your best shot.

If the child is resistant to the conversation, don’t push the issue. You’re better off retreating into safer territory. If they do confide in you, be careful not to make judgments about their parents. Listen, offer sound advice they can use and then talk with the parents about ways you believe they can provide healing, reassurance and support to their children during this difficult time.

If the issues are complex, be sure to suggest bringing in professional counsellors to handle the situation with all involved. They are trained to handle heavy emotional and psychological challenges. So leave it in their hands. You want to be loved as a caring grandparent — not as a therapist or judge!

Related Article: Helping children adjust after separation or divorce

If your own son or daughter is unaware about the emotional turmoil the divorce is taking on your grandchildren, schedule a time to talk with them. Arm yourself with resources in advance. Assemble articles, study results, websites and other valuable information about how children can be adversely affected by family drama and share them during your conversation. Have some positive and concrete suggestions regarding where they can get help and support. Let them know you’re there for them, on their side and also an advocate for the children. Don’t accuse, judge, dismiss or demean their parenting. Remind them they are not alone and that most all families coping with divorce face similar issues. Help is out there. You want to make sure they find it.

Remind your grandchildren’s parents how much those children mean to you so they don’t overlook your relationship with the kids following the divorce, especially if relocation or other major changes are in the works. Children need, want and value the safety and reassurance of their grandparents’ love. Be there for them and you can be an asset in their adjustment to life’s many challenges for a long time to come.

For more articles please visit the Resolve Conflict Blog here. If you have any queries on Family Law or Mediation please don’t hesitate to contact us on 03 9620 0088 or email info@resolveconflict.com.au

How To Tell People You’re Getting A Divorce

November 8, 2017

Being prepared on how and when to tell important people in your life about your divorce can be tricky and overwhelming, the following article is a practical guide that may help separating couples. Telling People Published via relate.org.uk Once you’ve decided there’s no future in your relationship, the first thing you need to do is talk openly and […]

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Teens and Visitation

October 31, 2017

Creating a workable parenting plan is essential to divorced parents and their children. Whilst children are young this process can be reasonably easy, however when children are in their teen years it can become a lot more complex. The following article has great insights on how to co-parent teenagers. Teens and Visitation By Brette McWhorter […]

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Surviving Divorce: Financially Where to Start

October 24, 2017

The end of a marriage can be incredibly emotional and stressful. The following article looks at 9 ways to help reduce financial stress.  Surviving Divorce: Financially Where to Start By Michelle Ash via womansdivorce.com Divorce – I doubt any of us who have experienced it ever set out from the beginning of our marriage intending […]

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6 Tips for Managing Your Children’s Behaviour During/After Divorce

October 17, 2017

Understanding what children are experiencing through and after divorce can give parents a greater understanding on how to manage challenging behaviour. The following article looks at six ways to reduce the negative impact of divorce on children. 6 Tips for Managing Your Children’s Behaviour During/After Divorce By Peter L. Stavinoha, Ph. D. and Sara Au via huffingtonpost.com on […]

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Science Says Relationships Fail When These Four Things Happen

October 10, 2017

The following article by Dr. Travis Bradberry explains the four things that, when people do them, predict the demise of a relationship with 93% accuracy. He offers proven strategies for eliminating these “Four Horseman of the Apocalypse” from your relationships at work and home. Science Says Relationships Fail When These Four Things Happen By Dr. Travis […]

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12 Books to help your children cope with separation and divorce

October 3, 2017

Divorcing parents can sometimes struggle helping their children through the divorce process. The following is an excerpt from ‘Beanstalk – inspiring single mums‘ blogger Lucy Good, which outlines 12 books to help children of varying age-groups cope with separation and divorce.   BOOKS FOR YOUNGER CHILDREN WAS IT THE CHOCOLATE PUDDING? (AGE 2-6) BY SANDRA LEVINS […]

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How To Manage Stress During Divorce

September 26, 2017

Not surprisingly divorce can be a stressful event for most people. The following article looks at how to firstly recognise why you are stressed and then how to manage it. How To Manage Stress During Divorce By Rhiannon Ford July 23, 2013 via rhiannonford.co.uk Relationship breakdown, involves a complex variety of issues. It is natural […]

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Tips to ensure a peaceful divorce

September 19, 2017

Having a peaceful divorce not only alleviates stress throughout the divorce process but can also help you move on afterwards and ensure you have an amicable relationship with your ex if children are involved. The following article looks at things you can do to ensure a peaceful divorce. Tips to ensure a peaceful divorce By Aaron […]

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