Posts Tagged blended families

Co-Parenting – Is it new age or is it a must do?

 

  • What is Co-Parenting – How to share parenting post separation?

Co-parenting is cooperative parenting where fundamentally clear concise communication is the key and the ones ability to put their emotion aside and commit to raising their children together. Generally speaking co-parenting is required when Marriages/Relationships with children have separated or divorced. Thus parents will move to being co-parents. The first step to successful co-parenting is to make a decision that you choose to create a positive share parenting arrangement for your children who are ultimately at the effect of your separation.

I read this from a parenting website earlier and thought it summed it up well – “Your relationship with your partner might have ended, but you’re both still parents to your children. It’s in your children’s best interests for you to figure out how you can both be involved in their lives”.

You may be familiar with the recent announcement by Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin to consciously uncouple. I was quite alarmed that some people were quite negative about their approach thinking it was fluffy (evidently this was my approach 9 years ago – I just didn’t call it consciously uncoupling, to me it was the only way). Consciously uncoupling is primarily about putting their children first and co-parenting as a united front as opposed to parenting from a battle field and a little he says she says…Their approach is undeniably wise and very noble. Co-parenting is a fairly new term, you may know of the term ‘shared’ parenting. Co-parenting successfully takes a conscious effort and opposes the social norm/mindset that has been to grant custody of a child/ren exclusively to one parent with limited visitation by the other parent. This concept is archaic and potentially dangerous for the overall well-being and development of a child. Granted in some cases this is required, though my cause is for children who come from a home where neglect/violence does not exist.  The concept of co-parenting promotes shared parenting, basically speaking each parent would have equal responsibility as a way to protect children and raise them as close to ‘normal’ as possible with care and love from both parents.

Co-parenting takes discipline and commitment to really put your children first. Separation and divorce are never easy times emotionally and can impact you in so many ways; financially is the big kicker, not to mention it can be a massive hit on your self-esteem…That said upon your separation when two people decide to parent in a shared parenting/co-parent manner, the permanency of the pain seems to dissipate sooner through your decision to respond in accordance with your powerful state to parent together as a united front all whilst living separately.

That said, it is never easy though it is absolutely worth it. Just this past Sunday it was (as you know) Mother’s Day. My day started with the obligatory breakfast made by children followed by a stop in for brunch and a board game with their step-mum at their dad’s house, my stepson was dropped off by his mother whilst we were there – there was not one awkward moment, only ease a big sense of family. This can happen (and it wasn’t always easy) because we decided to take the higher road and co-parent effectively putting our children first. I am deeply grateful for the life we have created, my children know no different. I would never wish for them to have a life of bitterness between the two people they love the most. Would you? The HOW is not as tricky as it may seem it is however a commitment.

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Guide to Step-parenting & Blended Families – How to Bond with Stepchildren & Deal with Step family Issues

Guide to Step-parenting & Blended Families – How to Bond with Stepchildren & Deal with Step family Issues 

Step-parenting
When families “blend” to create step families, things rarely progress smoothly. Some children may resist changes, while parents can become frustrated when the new family doesn’t function like their previous family. While changes to family structure require adjustment time for everyone involved, these guidelines can help blended families work out their growing pains and live together successfully.

Success for a Blended Families
You and your partner have decided to make a life together and form a new, blended family that includes children from one or both of your previous relationships. Congratulations. What lies ahead can be both a rewarding and a challenging experience. It can take a long time for a blended family to begin to feel comfortable and function well together.

While you as parents are likely to approach remarriage and a new blended family with great joy and expectation, your kids or your new spouse’s kids may not be nearly as excited. They’ll likely feel uncertain about the upcoming changes and how they will affect relationships with their natural parents. They’ll also be worried about living with new step siblings, whom they may not know well, or worse, ones they may not even like. To give yourself the best chance of success, it’s important to start planning how a blended family will function before the marriage even takes place.

Laying the foundations for a blended family
Having survived a painful divorce or separation and then managed to find a new loving relationship, the temptation can often be to rush into remarriage and a blended family without first laying solid foundations. By taking your time, you give everyone a chance to get used to each other, and used to the idea of marriage.

Too many changes at once can unsettle children. 
Blended families have the highest success rate if the couple waits two years or more after a divorce to remarry, instead of piling one drastic family change onto another.

Don’t expect to fall in love with your partner’s children overnight. 
Get to know them. Love and affection take time to develop.

Find ways to experience “real life” together. 
Taking both sets of kids to a theme park every time you get together is a lot of fun, but it isn’t reflective of everyday life. Try to get the kids used to your partner and his or her children in daily life situations.

Make parenting changes before you marry. 
Agree with your new partner how you intend to parent together, and then make any necessary adjustments to your parenting styles before you remarry. It’ll make for a smoother transition and your kids won’t become angry at your new spouse for initiating changes.

Don’t allow ultimatums. 
Your kids or new partner may put you in a situation where you feel you have to choose between them. Remind them that you want both sets of people in your life.

Insist on respect. 
You can’t insist people like each other but you can insist that they treat one another with respect.

Limit your expectations.
You may give a lot of time, energy, love, and affection to your new partner’s kids that will not be returned immediately. Think of it as making small investments that may one day yield a lot of interest.

Given the right support, kids should gradually adjust to the prospect of marriage and being part of a new family. It is your job to communicate openly, meet their needs for security, and give them plenty of time to make a successful transition.

Authors: Gina Kemp, M.A., Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., and Lawrence Robinson. Helpguide.org

Have questions? Connect with us on https://www.facebook.com/miKinApp or direct here through the comments section…

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To Blog OR Not To Blog…Confessions of an Over-Thinker!!

I was jumping out of my skin when it was announced on the first visionary call of the year with our company that the Alchemy Program had been formed. I couldn’t wait to share with our business associates my excitement in an overview email, I registered immediately for The Alchemy Apprenticeship and could see myself clearly winning the blog writing competition and being flown over to Colorado to hang out with our company’s founders prior to the next event.

Yet…it’s been almost a month and I have not submitted a blog entry. There is not a day that goes by that I am not thinking about it and writing down topic ideas. Then I spend a moment beating myself up about it. So, what’s stopping me…?

Lack of Commitment…nahhhh!

Lack of Passion….NO!

Procrastination…warm

Fear…warmer

Failure…warmest

Comparing myself to others…HOT!!

The fear of failure by comparison paralyses me. I don’t believe I have ever said it like that before.

My fear of failure makes for a great quality as an event manager as I triple cross check everything and generally speaking nothing goes wrong as I account for every possible scenario, my goal is to always put on the best event anyone has experienced.  However, that said, in our business with PG and personal life – I am my own stopper.

How am I my own stopper? I am forever comparing myself to others – unfairly, I compare myself to the person at the gym who is the strongest and fastest, I compare myself to the leaders here at PG, wondering am I worthy to be a leader and stand among them. Simon was growing his business with PG when I met him and upon my decision to join him I find myself comparing my ability with his ability to talk with prospects on the phone and his boldness to step out on most calls and just rattle off something clever and inspiring – could I do this that well??…By my own comparison, I always come off second best by my own opinion, and so I remain as I am…believing I am not quite good enough.

What’s my game plan…? I will begin by owning it, owning my quality and turn it around to use it for the greater good. That’s tough, it’s tough because it’s how I reason with myself for not doing or not participating in something. By identifying with my fear of failure, I will be able to monitor my decision making process and call myself on it and now have you guys too call me on it. The beautiful element of this leadership community is having others hold you to a higher standard.

The funny thing is by succumbing to my fear of failure, I am choosing to not participate and thus I am not choosing in…and this results in failure ANYWAY!!! Lose/Lose.

The words I live by are ‘To Lead By Example’ and yet I can feel like a fraud at times.  So, I choose in. I choose to blog and will move to grow beyond my ‘fear of failure by comparison’. I am after all the supreme authority of my own life.

This morning’s call with Helen, Anna and Rachel inspired me, I can’t quite put my finger on it though there in lies just one reason to always (no matter what) PLUG IN to the training calls.

To be continued…

Kara 

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Shift In Perspective + Gratitude = Happiness

Butterfly EffectI say to my kids when they are struggling to get over something…go to the hardware store, buy timber, build a bridge and get over it!! Easy right? We expect our kids to ‘get over it’ and deal with their issues quickly though I continually hear stories of ex’s just not able to move past their previous relationship and yet are in another relationship…WHAT THE??

It is imperative when moving on from a previous partner to another that you MOVE FORWARD. Moving forward is not holding onto your past or hosting a series of grudges toward an ex partner. Perspective is a wonderful word and it’s up to you how you look upon your life and it’s up to you on the story you create from your experiences thus far. You can choose to look back with regret, anger and hatred or you can look back with gratitude that he/she came into your life and with that possibly you had children or even just some fun times and certainly at some level would have experienced love.

Let’s face it, it’s not often we enter into a relationship without some sense of feeling warmth toward the other person (hopefully love),  as the saying suggests, best to have loved and lost than not loved at all…it’s just how you look at it – perspective!

Ask yourself, can you possibly have a fulfilling next relationship if you have unresolved feelings toward your previous relationship/s? What can you do to resolve your issues and alter your perspective? The answer;  gratitude. It is impossible to not feel even just a little bit better when we are grateful – that is a human absolute. There really is no greater wisdom in understanding that no matter the situation there is always something to be grateful for.

If you understand the butterfly effect, you will know that one flap of a butterfly’s wing can alter and impact the life of someone and then their actions impact the life of someone else and so on, the initial action could affect generations to come (children do as you do and not as you say)…just as the ripple in a pond on one side of the world could create massive waves on the other.

When exiting a relationship, do what you can to have peace by looking for what it is you can be grateful for, this in turn will create a sense of happiness which impacts well-being.

Perspective is merely the story you tell yourself, alter your perspective by looking for gratitude and that will alter your story.

One must never carry left over negativity into our next relationship…honestly ask yourself how do you see that relationship thriving when you carry such a  burden??

Be Extraordinary 🙂

Kara

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Breakups/Custody and Co-Parenting

The hardest part about having joint custody of the kids after a breakup (via iVillage Australia) >> http://bit.ly/15rwLMF

My response to the above blog and how can you create a positive co-parenting relationship with your ‘ex’..

I too am one of the lucky ones, am I lucky or did we create what we have?? I actually know we created what we have, when my childrens father and I went separate ways we decided that no matter what is going on between us – we put our children first.

Granted both parties here had a vested interest though the journey was no joyride initially. It took an extreme amount of maturity to stand by our decision and that we did (most of the time). I felt he  couldn’t look at me for a long time, though time healed that and we both grew to see that we both played a part in the end of us as a couple. So we un-coupled and yet we remain a family. 8 years on and with the add ons of new partners and step children our family has grown substantially.

At the end of the the day, it comes down to choice and the decisions you make on how you act and who you show up as. It does make it a challenge when one parent struggles with the concept of separation etc – my approach was to ALWAYS go back with love and respect, no matter how tough it got. Not to say I compromised myself – I had done this enough within my relationship…though I chose my responses wisely and held my tongue.

What we have today is ‘the ideal’, we are one big family caring for little people who live with the consequences of their parents decisions. We were just two people who just couldn’t get their shit together being together though two people who love their children very much. I am a mother who knows how important their father is in the life, he’s a good man, I had children with him afterall and loved him, so why would I do anything to stop him from seeing his kids.

So, always feel into your decisions and make a choice that comes from love, no matter how this is received, keep doing this, put your children first, deal with your crap somewhere else and work out what part you played and your responsibility so it doesn’ happen again in your next relationship, go out and create your own life…most of all, love and appreciate the other parent for simply being your childrens mother or father…no other adult will love your child as much as you – other than them.

Do your best to always be your best ! I would love to hear from you if you too have a story to share or maybe you would like some help too in acheiveing an extraodinary co-parenting arrangement!

Kara_s_Cover_Pic-1024x418

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James Michael Sama

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