Tag Archives: Co-Parenting/Coparenting

Ex Spouse Communications – Video Interview with Founder Joan Pechauer

Joan Pechauer, LMFT

Do you have trouble communicating with your ex-spouse about co-parenting issues? When you see that you’ve received an email from them, do you get that anxious feeling in the pit of your stomach that feels like you just drank a glass of motor oil? Well never fear, Ex-Spouse Communications is here! Founder Joan Pechauer says, “Send us your ex’s nasty email and we’ll write an effective response for you. ” That’s right: they will draft you a response letter that will express your concerns without starting a fight. This is the solution you’ve been waiting for. Watch my interview with Joan here:

Imagine this situation: your ex sends you an email saying they want to change this week’s parenting time schedule. Again. And as always, they couldn’t be more demanding about it or more inconsiderate of your scheduled plans with the kids. What you might find yourself doing in this situation is writing a strongly worded email back, telling them how rude they are to wait until the last minute to make this request, backing up your arguments with examples from when they have done this sort of thing in the past, maybe taking a shot at that new person they are dating who thinks they can contradict your rules for your kids, and totally putting them in their …STOP! That approach is not going to get you anywhere, and you know it. Your ex-spouse will never be persuaded that they’re wrong, no matter how good you think your points are. All that’s going to do is get you into another exhausting fight. So instead, just take a breath, and let Ex-Spouse Communications help.

You know what? If it helps you vent, go ahead and write your angry letter and send it along with your ex-spouse’s email to Ex-Spouse Communications. They will translate your belligerent rebuttal into an emotionally neutral response that is much more likely to actually get your ex-spouse to consider your legitimate concerns — and that’s really the goal, right? And if you need more than just an email, Ex-Spouse Communications also offers phone consultations and coaching.

To learn more about Ex Spouse Communications or if you are just looking for some free tips on what to do and what not to do when talking to your spouse, or free samples of effective letters, check out exspousecommunications.com

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Mediation Works North Offers Online Parents Forever Course

When ending a marriage, sharing custody of your children means learning to work with your ex-spouse. Sometimes this can be difficult, especially during — and after — a long divorce process. Luckily a new non-profit called Mediation Works North is making it easier than ever to build strong co-parenting skills – and now you can build those skills without the hassle of driving out of town. Check out my recent interview with the founder of Mediation Works North, Lois Warner:

Minnesota law requires parents going through divorce to take co-parenting classes. Here’s the punch line: in many Minnesota counties, these classes aren’t even offered. So to comply with the law you’d have to find one of these classes in another county. You’d have to make a long drive (in the snow if you aren’t lucky enough to get a divorce in the summertime.) You might have to miss work and pay for childcare.

Or, instead you could take one of the online Parents Forever classes offered by Mediation Works North. These classes offer informative content and skill-building, but without having to leave the comfort of your home and without having to drive to another county. They are interactive classes with a live facilitator teaching in real time. Classes are two hours long, and it takes two class periods to complete the course.

And remember: this is a genuinely valuable resource, not just a court order. You’ll learn to avoid putting the children in the middle of conflicts you might have with the other parent, to adjust your finances to the changes brought on by divorce, to communicate with the other parent, and more. The Founder of Mediation Works North, Lois Warner, started this non-profit because she realized that the law is quite a blunt instrument for dealing with co-parenting conflicts. Her Parents Forever program allows parents to learn to resolve potential conflicts outside of the context of a legal battle.

So if you are going through a divorce and would like to get some advice on how to peacefully resolve co-parenting issues but need more convenience than the traditional classes offer, then check out the Parents Forever online classes from Mediation Works North.

Here’s their contact information:
Mediation Works North
Mediationworksnorth.org
Phone: (218) 263-7307

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Minnesota Fathers and Families Network: Making Fatherhood a Little Less Scary

“Any fool can have a child. That doesn’t make you a father. It’s the courage to raise a child that makes you a father.” That truism is from a speech by Barack Obama on Father’s Day 2008. Fatherhood means taking responsibility for the development of another human being, and that takes guts. This is especially true for people who hadn’t planned on being a dad, or who are separated from their spouse, or who — like the President — didn’t know their own father. But luckily there is a growing network of dads and people who love them who are trying to make fatherhood a little less scary: the Minnesota Fathers & Families Network (MFFN), which encourages healthy father-child relationships by giving “men-with-children” the resources to become fathers.

Kids don’t come with an instruction manual …until now. MFFN has a whole list of free guidebooks with tips on how to be a dad. Like “The Daddy Book.” For each month of your baby’s first year in the world, this helpful guide offers: parenting advice, developmental milestones you should expect, and safety tips –plus fun stuff like games you can play with your baby and toys you can make from things you’ve got laying around the house. And The Daddy Book is just one of the many parenting resources offered on their website.

But in this rough economy, dads who are struggling to pay the bills are going to need more than a guidebook. That’s why MFFN is connecting fathers across the state to a whole host of services that help dads support their families: employment assistance, childcare, housing and more.

This Father’s Day, Obama called being a dad “my hardest, but always my most rewarding job” — and that’s coming from a guy who’s other job is no walk in the park. The struggle against terrorism is easy compared to the struggle to get a young child to sleep peacefully through the night. Arguing with John Boehner is nothing after you’ve tried arguing with a teenager. But at the same time, raising a child is the most gratifying endeavor you can ever engage in– that is, if you’ve got the courage to be a father.

For more information check out mnfathers.org.

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Readeo.com Rocks for Remote Reading to Your Children

Click on photo to go to Readeo.com

Click on photo to go to Readeo.com

A few decades ago we imagined we’d have invented teleportation by now. Well we’re not there yet, but we may have just gotten one step closer: a parent can now read his or her child a bedtime story even from the other side of the world. Readeo, a new web service, makes it possible to share story time with your kids regardless of the distance between you. That’s good news for today’s parents on the move.

Here’s how it works: select a children’s book from Readeo’s extensive online library, sorted by age-appropriateness, then you and your child can view the book and each other while you read aloud over Readeo’s real-time video chat. Turn the page on your computer and the page will turn on the child’s screen as well. It’s like Skype plus eBooks, combined in an elegant and totally user-friendly viewer. A membership costs $9.99 per month (only one of the two parties has to be a member to chat), then you get unlimited access to the Readeo online library and unlimited chatting time.

The front page of Readeo.com boasts “better than Skype.” Ever try reading a book to your child over Skype? You have to hold the book up to the camera, making it difficult for the child to read along. In contrast, Readeo offers clear, colorful children’s books right there on the computer screen. And sure, it’s great to see and talk to your kids when you are away, but sometimes young children don’t have the attention span for a long conversation.With Readeo, you and your child can participate in a fun activity together.

Of course free is still good, right!?  For free video conferencing, keep using Skype, as well as other video chat services such as Google Video Chat.  But, you also get what you pay for.  So, if you want the real deal for reading to your child remotely, you need Readeo.  There’s really no comparison.  Readeo clearly beats these other services for this specific activity.

We may not have teleporters (yet), but our kids are definitely going to grow up with a totally different understanding of the limitations of space and time. Nowadays, just because Mommy or Daddy is on a business trip doesn’t mean she/he can’t also be right there to read a story.

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Parenting During Divorce – Helpful Video from Virginia Lawyers

Here’s a good video from the Virginia State Bar (Lawyer) Association related to divorce and children.

According to the website:

Giving parents a compass for navigating family dissolution, Spare the Child guides parents and families through the difficult and often overwhelming task of restructuring a family. The documentary-style, conversational video uses everyday language and gives examples from experienced interviewees. Judges, lawyers, guardians ad litem, counselors, teachers, and children of divorce relate their experiences and observations to guide families who are currently in the process of family restructuring.

http://player.vimeo.com/video/16997474

Spare the Child from Virginia State Bar on Vimeo.

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High Conflict Separation/Divorce?…Check out highconflict.net

While some level of conflict is to be expected in a divorce, does it seem like your divorce centers around a seemingly never-ending elevated level of conflict? Here’s a way to find out whether your concerns are well-founded. In the first video of Brook Olsen’s High Conflict Diversion Program he lists twenty situations including provoking the other partner, not wanting to give the other partner access to the child, and refusing to follow court orders. If your divorce exhibits 5 – 10 of these situations then your divorce is at risk for high conflict or has elevated conflict. 10 or more of the situations apply to you? It’s probably accurate to say that your divorce involves a high level of conflict. Take some comfort in the fact that you’re not alone: 25 to 30% of divorces involve high conflict while 60% are high conflict or at-risk to become high conflict. You can sign up to receive the free videos (don’t worry there are transcripts in the emails if you don’t have time to watch the whole thing!) at highconflict.net. The program sends out videos periodically so we’ll have to wait to see what strategies and solutions the program proposes, since I signed up myself so I could get all their helpful information emailed to me! http://player.vimeo.com/video/7891004

High Conflict Diversion Program Free E Course Lesson 1 from Brook Olsen on Vimeo.

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10 Commandments of Co-Parenting

I found this really helpful website called coparenting101.org. I’m sure I’ll be exploring this website and posting some of the more interesting resources that I come across as I check out the various links, but for now I’ll direct you to what they call the 10 Commandments of Coparenting. This helpful list outlines ten basic rules for co-parenting with your ex, including fundamental advice about interacting with your ex like “Treat the other parent with respect” as well as addressing overlooked issues like helping your child connect with your ex with suggestions such as “Help your children recognize the other parent with appropriate gifts or cards.” These useful guidelines should aid parents embarking on their co-parenting journey to create a more positive experience for themselves and their children. Check out the 10 Commandments of Co-Parenting at http://coparenting101.org/ten-commandments-of-co-parenting/.

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