I Hate Daddy’s New Girlfriend

Daniel Burns

Daniel Burns

I was recently working with a couple who were having a disagreement over how long they should wait before introducing their children to dad’s new girlfriend. Mom was suggesting that he wait six months or more, while dad felt that the best approach was to “take the band aid off” by introducing them to her right away.

Another couple was having a similar issue with a twist. Mom was never going to be ok with dad being with his new girlfriend when their child was around because she felt that the new girlfriend was the cause of their marriage ending.

In making a determination as to when it is appropriate to introduce your children to a new partner, parents need to be sensitive to how the children are reacting to the marriage ending. Read the rest of Dan’s article to learn some key questions to consider when deciding how and when to introduce a new significant other to your children.

“We’ve Got It All Worked Out” and Other Myths

Ada Hasloecher

Ada Hasloecher

A common misconception that many couples coming to mediation may have is that they “have it all worked out.” Other abounding myths include:
“This is going to be your easiest mediation yet.”
“We’re going to continue to live in the house together until our son goes off to college.”

Experience has told me that often these are the most difficult mediations simply because they think they have it all worked out – but really, they don’t.

Additionally, because of these potentially impractical notions, they believe that the mediation will only take a few sessions at the most. With this in mind, they become upset when they realize the mediation will take a little longer than they thought (or hoped) it would because there is still much more to do to complete their agreements.

Read the rest of Ada’s article to learn what these types of couples haven’t considered.


One More Try—Counseling

BJ Mann

BJ Mann

When clients arrive at my office, they are rarely on the same page. There is always one person more psychologically ready to end the marriage than the other. During our conversation, I may learn that they have either been to counseling or one has begged the other “for years” to go. Now, when reality sets in, one or both, may want to reconsider counseling.

Couples are often surprised at how supportive I am of counseling. I encourage them to try counseling, but consider four important suggestions that can help reduce long-term conflict, build mutual respect, and set the stage for future interactions through the divorce process and afterwards, especially if there are children involved. Read the rest of BJ’s article to learn more about her four suggestions regarding counseling.

School’s Open: It’s a Great Time to Learn and Teach!

David Louis

David Louis

School is back in session again, and it’s a perfect reminder that teaching and learning are lifetime activities.

For the divorce mediator or collaborative divorce professional it’s a special opportunity to support couples in making important decisions by providing information that will assist their decision making. Couples often come with limited knowledge regarding specific topics under discussion.

Fortunately for them, the mediation process offers a classroom to facilitate the beginning of a transformation from an uncertain and under-informed spouse to an informed and more confident decision maker.

Read the rest of David’s article to learn how mediators also serve as educators who give couples the information and guidance they need to make life decisions.

Creating Daily “Listening Time” with Your Child

Susan Ingram

Susan Ingram

An article that recently appeared in HuffPost Parents entitled “The Most Important 10 Minutes of a Child’s Day” triggered my own thoughts about supporting our children’s emotional well-being. The suggestions of the author, Kenneth Barish, Ph.D., a clinical associate professor of psychology at Weill Medical College, Cornell University, were simple, yet very meaningful.

Dr. Barish suggests that a parent spend a few minutes every day (at bedtime or some other convenient time) in “patient listening” with his or her child. During this time, the parent makes a genuine effort to appreciate and understand the child’s concerns and point of view. This doesn’t mean the parent has to agree with the child, but it does mean that the parent needs to actively listen to what the child is saying before criticizing his or her conduct.

The idea is to create a routine in which a child and parent can discuss the child’s frustrations and concerns before issues fester and emotions get out of control.

Read the rest of Susan’s article to learn why she encourages parents to consider this strategy, which she used when raising her son.

il est urgent de ne rien faire! (It Is Urgent to Do Nothing!)

Jennifer Safian

Jennifer Safian

When I was in my late teens and early adulthood, I thought I had it “all figured out.” Who didn’t? But then when I did have doubts, I would become terribly upset because I HAD to make a decision quick! or else – of course – “the world would come to an end!”

When I asked my grandfather, an “older and wiser” man in his early seventies to help me decide, his answer usually was “Il est urgent de ne rien faire!” meaning “It is urgent to do nothing!” Well, doing nothing and being in limbo made me almost more annoyed than his answer and the calm tone in which he delivered it. Nothing could be worse for me than doing NOTHING!

But as I became “older and wiser,” I realized that quite often, that is exactly what we need to do. Nothing. The world does not come to an end if we do not make an immediate decision. In fact, time often helps ideas fall into place.

Read the rest of Jennifer’s article to learn how taking a step back and looking at your options can help you make a well-thought-out decision before taking action.