An inspiring, engaging and informative podcast for all your co-parenting dilemmas.
10 Things To Do When Everything is Falling Apart
1. Take a break/Don’t be afraid to feel it/Write it out - Things have a way of working themselves out and once we lean into “letting go” typically things will work out. If you can write out what you are feeling when the world that's crumbling around you, this excercise will help you refocus and you will have a clearer picture of what's going on. Once you do, you can reassess the situation and figure out the best course of action.
2. Get support - Don't hesitate in asking for help, this means having to put your ego aside. Whether if it's getting some outside therapy, asking advice, having a friend to vent to, or just being around someone who's upbeat. Having a strong and positive support system is one of the best ways to feel positive and happy again. Studies have shown that positivity is contagious. So, make sure that your support system is optimistic and positive because these attributes will lift your spirits. At the same time, your support system needs to also include people who are honest - even if they can be harsh sometime.
3. Attempt something new/declutter - Changing things up or declutter will spark motivation and move you out of your comfort zone. Science has actually proven that when we try something new it triggers certain parts of our brain and releases the motivation chemical dopamine.
4. Make your goals visible/visualize your best day - Make your goals visible so you visually see what you're working toward and figure out how you'll achieve it. Writing down your goals also help you focus, train your brain to be more proactive, and it gives you peace of mind.
5. Focus on small things first -When your world is falling apart it can be easy to find plenty of little things you can fix. For example, if you're not happy with your weight, make small changes in your lifestyle like taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
6. Speak and show positive affirmations - There may be no more of a powerful force than self-talk. If you keep reminding yourself how terrible everything thing is around do, do you really believe that you'll be motivated to do something about it? Regardless of the negativity going on around you, say out loud what you want to happen. Write down a daily affirmation and place it somewhere that you're going to see it, such as your bedroom or bathroom mirror, refrigerator, or computer monitor.
7. Take action/Don't mope - find something simple and set a goal, take action and this motion forward energy will create more energy to take action. Don't mope an wallow in your own pity.
8. Take a 20 minute nap - set your alarm and take a reset nap.
9. Be with other humans - The pandemic has changed everything, but if you feel safe to do so, visit a friend or sit in an outside café and be around other people and get out of your head for a little while.
10. Water & Sleep - drink lots of water, use lemon, lime, cucumber slice or orange slices for variety and go to be early.
Things I Avoid When Everything is going wrong.
· Sad music or nostalgic music,
· Social Media - comparison is a joy killer
· Complicated '"family" relationships or Negative People
· Alcohol or Medicating yourself with a depressant.
Some of the best advice I ever received was to stop trying to “fix” things when everything and just surrender to life. Life has a way of working itself out when we learn to let go. Focus on gratitude and breathe.
Uplifting our Daughters and Building Self-Esteem
1. Body Acceptance and modeling positive body image.
Mothers have a huge impact on their daughters’ body image. Think about how they will mimic our behaviors, Don’t ask, “Do these jeans make me look fat?” or obsess food or appearance. Things to do:
Appreciate all that your body can do. Write down what you love about yourself Beauty is more than skin deep Look at yourself as a whole person Wear clothes that make feel comfortable and work with your body not against.2. Make your daughter media literate
Become a critical viewer of social and media messages. Pay attention to images, slogans, or attitudes that make you feel bad about yourself or your body.
we spend more time than ever using media and everywhere we turn there are messages telling us how we should look that can make us feel less confident about our appearance. While we’re probably not going to use less media, we can protect our self-image and body confidence from media’s narrow body ideals that reinforce the appearance ideal.
3. Don’t raise her as a “people pleaser”
Encourage her to stand up for what she what needs and wants. Create opportunities for her to use her voice and to make choices. Ask her what she wants and then let her make a choice and then honor that choice. You as the parent should not be a people pleaser as children learn a lot from the same sex parent.
4. Start sports early
Research shows girls who play on teams have higher self-esteem. Studies have shown that girls that play sports have a much higher self-esteem than girls who do not.
5. Praise her for more than her appearance
Challenge yourself to match every compliment you give about your daughter’s appearance with at least two compliments about something non-appearance based, and do the same for other girls — your daughter’s friends, nieces, etc.”
7. Help her build skills that are independent of appearance
“Get her involved in activities that bring confidence, rather than focusing on looking good and acquiring things. “Sports, theater, music, art. Anything that can help girls express themselves through words or creativity or activity rather than through their appearance .
8. Praise efforts rather than performance
Focus less on the outcome and more on efforts and the development of new skills. Mastery is what builds confidence, and learning to rise above challenges builds resilience.
9. Don’t trash talk other women
Don’t let kids tease each other around food or looks.
10. Dads: Don’t treat your daughter like a damsel in distress
Fathers should not treat girls as though they are these fragile, helpless, little beings, When dads do this it teach their daughter your role is to look good so a man will sweep in and save you.. Instead, give her the opportunity and the tools—to change her own tire, to use her voice and speak up for herself, to play sports, to be able to brush herself off and get back up.
11. Listen and Pay Attention
Being a good listener means not offering judgments, criticisms or even advice. Simply hear what your child is saying and restate his or her comments to show that you're listening.
Single Parenting in Self Pity
1. Show Compassion to yourself first
Allow yourself to really feel what you are feeling. Be compassionate with yourself just as you would with a friend or your child. Ask for support if you need it.
2. Awareness of the pain of self-pity
Feeling sorry for yourself not only creates pain for you but it creates pain for others too. Not many people want to be around you if you are always down. Instead of seeing that as something else to feel hurt about, become aware of the pain you are creating for yourself.
No one can make you feel anything, only you control the way you feel.
3. NO VICTIM – refuse to be a victim
Victim mentality is typically the cause of self pitying behavior. It’s called the drama cycle and with this cycle we choose to blame someone or something else for the way we feel.
Decide that your relationships are too important and make a stand and refuse to be a victim.
4. Questions that keep you stuck
The question we as victims most often ask themselves is “Why?”
“Why is this happening to me?”
“Why did she do that?”
“Why did he say that to me?”
These are low quality questions and with these questions you will receive low quality answers. For example;
“Because you’re not good enough..”
“Because he doesn’t like you”
“Because she doesn’t truly value your friendship.”
Any question beginning with “Why” will keep you stuck in your current situation feeling like a victim. Decide to NEVER use the word “Why” from your vocabulary and replace it with words like “What”, “How” and “When”.
“What can I do to get a different outcome?”
“When will I contact her and explain how I feel?”
“How can I change the situation?”
As you change the quality of your questions, you will see empowered you will feel.
5. Perception and your responsibility
If we have consistently see things in a negative way, it’s likely we will continue to do so unless we bring awareness to the table.
Our perception creates our reality and by changing our viewpoint, we are able to change any experience. Take responsibility for the way you are viewing a situation and challenge yourself to see it in a different way.
6. Be courageous
It takes courage to hold up the mirror and look at our part in things, but this is the only way to make real change. This is because we only ever have complete control and influence over ourselves.
Holding up the mirror doesn’t mean beating yourself up for your mistakes. This is just another form of self pity. As you make these changes, you will notice your self-pity decrease and self-empowerment increase.
7. Acknowledging the positive things in your life.
The fastest way to turn this around is to make it a practice to regularly focus on the good. You may have heard this before and that’s because it’s true. Keep a gratitude journal.
8. Noticing others that have it worse.
With all the events and the pandemic happening in our world right now, it’s easy to find examples of others less fortunate. This is comparison used in a positive way.
Instead of feeling wrapped up in your own world, look for ways you can help others.
Contributing to others is one of the fastest ways to start feeling good and taking your attention away from yourself. This is good for you and good for others. And you will notice your self-confidence and empowerment soar.
Learning to Rely on the "other" Co-Parent
Learning to Rely on the "other" Co-Parent”, not an easy thing to do. It is a tough order to depend on the other co-parent especially if there have been trust issues in your past relationship with them.
Vincent de Paul is recorded as having asked: “What do you think is most often the cause of our failings in our resolutions? It’s that we depend too much on ourselves, we put trust in our good desires, we rely on our own strength, and that’s the reason we don’t get any good results from them.”
Here are some tips to help you be more accepting of help from others.
Learn to be vulnerable.Explore your beliefs on receiving.Give others an opportunity to give.Pay it forward instead of returning it.Feel the love, be grateful and presentPractice accepting help from everyone, even strangers.1. Allowing yourself to be Vulnerable
To accept help, you have to let go of control and be vulnerable. For some, that may be the hardest hurdle to overcome but it is important in order to let others step in and help.
2. Examine your beliefs on receiving.
If you’re having difficulty others take control, examine some of the reasons this may be. Being vulnerable is not a weakness and neither is asking for help.
· What’s stopping me from accepting help?
· Do you feel that you don’t deserve to receive their compliment or love? Why do you feel that way?
3. Give others an opportunity to give.
Receiving is not only about you. It’s also about the giver. Imagine a well-intention, loving person giving you something and you reject their gifts. How would that make them feel? Unappreciated? Awkward? Embarrassed? Open yourself up and let others help and give you this most precious gift.
4. Pay it forward instead of returning it.
Sometimes when people aren’t comfortable with receiving, they would return the love, the compliment, or the gifts in another form immediately. For example, when someone gives them a gift, they feel obliged to find something to give back.
When it’s your time to receive, it’s important for you to embrace the moment. Don’t be in a hurry to give back to the other person. You are just deflecting their love back to them. It’s like: “I can’t receive your love. Here have it back.” Then what you give them, would not be authentic.
5. Feel the love, live in the moment and show gratitude.
To receive is such a beautiful experience. Start a journal of gratitude to write down how thankful you are to have someone in your life that cares for you and gives you support when you most need it. Unfortunately many in this world aren’t as fortunate.
6. Practice accepting help everywhere.
You don’t have to wait for someone to give you help to practice receiving. Whenever you need help, just ask for it. Don’t worry about being rejected. Give others an opportunity to help you. If they aren’t the one, move on to the next.
What Co-Parenting is Not
We can sum this up in one word: easy. Co-parenting is not easy.
Parenting is already no cakewalk, and when you add in the stress of a raising a child together after a divorce or separation, it’s a situation that can be filled with tension and disagreements.
Good communication is the key to a positive co-parenting experience. Putting the sole focus on your children rather than on yourself or your ex is the first step toward ensuring success. Co-parenting is not easy, but it’s worth the extra effort for the health and well-being of your children. Here are some other things that co-parenting is not:
Co-parenting is not about you.
Nor is it about the other parent. Nor is it about why the relationship didn’t work out or whose fault it was. Co-parenting is about two people coming together to provide the warmth and attention for their children. Agree with your ex that disparaging one another in front of the kids or allowing the kids to speak disrespectfully about either parent is strictly forbidden. Never, ever force your children to choose sides when there is a disagreement.
Co-parenting is not unstable
Work with your ex on a detailed plan for raising your kids that focuses on consistent rules, bedtimes, curfews, screen time, disciplinary practices, and expectations for performance at school, work, and in extracurricular activities. The more consistent the routine between homes the better. .
Co-parenting is not a competition.
This is not your time to shine as the fun parent, nor as the best friend. It can be easy for guilt to get the better of you — and for your children to play on your emotions — causing you to overindulge their material wants or allow them to wiggle out of responsibilities like chores or schoolwork. It may feel good in the short term, but in the long run, it isn’t helping you or your children.
Co-parenting is not even-steven.
What is best for your child may not always equate to a 50-50 split between parents. If one parent travels frequently, it might make more sense for the children to spend more time with the other parent. If your ex has always taken the kids to their sports practices, don’t nix it just because it is your weekend. Talk to your children. Consider their feelings and remember, this is not about you.
Co-parenting is not always comfortable.
A divorce or separation is a highly emotional and sensitive situation for everyone involved. There are bound to be hurt feelings, feeling of anger or even hostility toward your ex. Work out these feelings with a counselor or other professional, not during your dealings with your ex in matters related to the children.
Adopt a business-like tone in your communication. Make sure you communicate frequently and document all decisions you make together about the children. Share information related to the children. Is there a doctor’s appointment coming up? Don’t hoard information thinking it will make you the hero. It won’t. A superhero is identified by his or her superhuman powers, and in this case, it is going to be your power to stay in control of your emotions for the sake of your children and make decisions from a place of empathy, peace, and love.
Parents who are separated or divorced or were never together in the first place must communicate with each other regarding their children. Good communication is key to a positive co-parenting environment.
Handling Summertime Squabbles
Handling Summertime Squabbles
Build Team Family
Establish a We (versus a Me) mentality. Build a team family mentality. You can have a family cheer and/or a special handshake. You don’t have to go that route, but do look for ways to build your own united front that supports and stands up for one another. Depending on their age, have your children create projects and goals they want to accomplish together: for example, they might hold a mini-garage sale or lemonade stand with proceeds to buy a new Lego set they both want.Create a sibling treasure jar. Put money or candy in the jar when you see either of them doing something nice for the other one or making a good choice not to tease back. Once the jar is filled, they can choose what they’d like to do together: go to an aquarium, the movies, or a family fun center, for example.Celebrate their relationship. Let them make or buy gifts for each other for birthdays and holidays. Encourage times where they just go do an activity together (without friends). Declare “Sibling Sundays,” when they get to watch a movie and eat popcorn together. Keep them on the same team when playing board games against parents.Arrange time for them to be apart from one another. Each child needs quality time alone with each parent. Have an outing together, go on a dinner date, arrange for separate play dates, and let each child go visit Grandma without the other sibling.Treat and love each child fairly and uniquely, not equally. We all have different needs. Different children require different kinds of attention at different times.Have community property and individual property. Generally speaking, most items should be community property—balls, puzzles, books, and games for example. Individual property is for “special” items. Perhaps it was a birthday gift or something they saved up for. Those items should be put somewhere special, with the rule that permission needs to be granted before they are used by the other sibling.Neutral Language
7. Minimize comparisons. Whether comparisons are positive or negative, they have the same unintended effect on your children. Instead of: You can ride your bicycle without training wheels now, not like your sister who still rides her tricycle, try self-esteem-building statements like You look very proud of yourself that you’ve learned how to ride your bicylce without training wheels.
8. Treat each child the same. Instead of trying to figure out who was the instigator (we don’t really know what happened), you can say something like, “Kids, do you need to go to take a break for a while or do you want to work on a solution now?”
Don’t play favorites. The child you are having trouble appreciating in the heat of the moment is exactly the child who also needs your love and attention. Be sensitive to this.It’s really not possible to eliminate all conflict. But it is possible to increase the bonds, trust, and warmth in your home. It’s also important to take time to teach our young children the conflict-resolution tools they can use with loved ones, friends, and coworkers in the future. What a child doesn’t receive or have, after all, he can seldom later give.
A wealth of knowledge!
This podcast is such a great resource across a multitude of areas - co-parenting, adoption, step-parenting, cross cultures...
Deborah is lovely to listen to, it feels like sitting down and having a chat with a girlfriend. I love her authenticity and the perspective she brings to the table. Excited for future episodes!
Letting Go of Anger Post Election
Oh my goodness! I so needed this podcast today. I am so devastated and angry with the people in this country and the inherent racism, sexism and bigotry that exist. I am going to work through your steps, because not only well forgiveness help me personally in the healing of my soul, but I know it will help me be a better parent through these tough times.
Not to mention, your soothing voice was like a meditation for me. Thanks so much friend!
Love your Podcast!
Your Podcast is very informative and very interesting! Very easy to listen too.