October 21st, 2018
CO-PARENTING: WHAT NOT TO DO
These things harm your child emotionally:
Don’t make ANY derogatory comments regarding the other parent.
Don’t place your child in the middle – no asking them to carry hostile messages or ask if there can be schedule changes. Don’t make children choose between their parents.
Don’t inhibit your child from making positive comments about the other parent….they need to feel safe about loving and respecting both parents.
Don’t discuss litigation issues in front of or with the child.
Don’t make assumptions. You will most likely assume the worst. You don’t know what is going on in his/her life any longer. Go to the source and ask if you must (kids don’t always report correctly).
Don’t take it (things your ex does or says) personally. It may have nothing to do with you.
IF YOU ABSOLUTELY CAN’T GET ALONG WITH YOUR EX:
Arrange to have minimal interaction between you.
Attempt to make joint decisions only when major decisions must be made.
Information about medical appointments, school reports and activities limited to notification, not discussions.
Bite your tongue.
Life is not fair…accept that and deal with it.
Using Encouragement With Children
Throughout the school years, from kindergarten through high school we are concerned about our children succeeding. Therefore, we have many expectations of them. Sometimes, our expectations are unrealistic or unreasonable and we end up discouraging and criticizing our children instead of encouraging them and allowing them to succeed on their own.
Encouragement focuses on effort or improvement, rather than strictly on outcomes. Encouragement is recognizing, accepting, and conveying the faith you have in your child. When we use encouragement, we infuse life into them rather than pulling the life out of them.
Using encouragement gives a child a sense of self-respect and tests their strength and ability. Then, they are able to feel a sense of accomplishment when they do things on their own, discover their abilities, make their own decisions, and make meaningful contributions.
"I think you can do it" "Here, let me do that for you"
"You have what it takes" "Be careful; it's dangerous"
"You're a hard worker" "Don't forget your assignment"
"What do you think?" "Let me give you some advice"
"I could use your help" "When you're older, you can help"
"It looks like a problem occurred. "I told you to be careful"
What can we do to solve the problem?"
If a child has confidence, he will function. If he becomes demoralized, discouraged, or doubtful of himself, he will feel useless, discouraged, and become deficient and maladjusted.
Most adults are skilled at discouragement, having received more than their share. We have learned how to yell, threaten, nag, interrogate, criticize, reward, punish, and isolate when problems arise. As much as teachers and parents love children, we often end up treating them with little trust and respect.
In pointing out parents' mistakes, I don't infer criticism. We must learn from our mistakes. Don't beat yourself up or become discouraged parents. Have the courage to try different techniques. Remember what worked or was good. We can't be perfect parents but there is room for improvement.
Linda Peterman, Life Coach, Retired Mental Health Counselor