"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anybody can start today and make a new ending."
There's an old saying that if you want to start a fight, try to change something. People who have been through a divorce want to get on with their lives, but often find that decisions made during the divorce (or imposed on them by the court) are holding them back....
The old resentments can start to boil and before long you're back to meeting with lawyers and going to court – OR, you can take the issue to mediation. Let Agreement House™ help improve communications and get fast and affordable resolutions so you can get back to your life and you and your children can get to a more agreeable future.
Where needed, we can reopen communication – we can make contact with your former spouse and explain the benefits of mediation, seeking agreement on a low-conflict resolution instead of court.
Then, one of our mediators can help both sides see the other's point of view and work toward a creative resolution, usually in just a few hours, meeting in a comfortable, casual environment, working with people who want to help you learn the art of getting agreement.
Call Sharon or Deb who will be happy to answer your questions and schedule your mediation: 480-496-2201
When a child joins a team or an ongoing activity, have the child follow through on the commitment unless for some reason it would be harmful for the child to continue.
Frank Gaunt provides parenting tips and is one of our child and family issues mediators. Click here to read his article on successful co-parenting.
More Parenting Tips
Have dinner together (at the dinner table) on a regular basis. Use it as a time for interaction. Avoid interruptions- no answering the phone, no texting, etc.
Plan family nights consistently. Whether it means going out together or a movie night at home, schedule time to be together having fun.
Schedule one on one time with your children. Kids love to feel special.
Get to know your child’s likes and dislikes; favorite color, favorite teacher, least favorite food, etc.
Make sure you express unconditional love for your children often.
When your child does something you appreciate, make sure to thank them. Kids want to be acknowledged.
Parents need to give consistent messages. If kids think they can play one parent against the other, it is a recipe for disaster.
When parents are encountering problems (i.e. marital problems, stress at work) children often pick up on the stress. Children often believe that the parent is stressed because the child did something wrong. It is important to assure the child that they are not the cause of the problem and they are still loved.
Teenagers need to understand that they have limits. Make expectations clear and follow through with enforcement.
While it is natural for teens to want independence, make sure you are spending time with them regularly. Maintain your connection. If you lose it, it is very difficult to get it back.
Make your home a gathering place for your teens friends. Get to know the friends.
Be clear with your teen when you will respect their privacy and when you feel the need to get more information from them.
Give children light chores. It helps them develop a sense of responsibility.Make sure children are getting enough physical activity. Limit T.V. and video games.
Do not over-schedule your child in sports, activities, music etc. Strike a healthy balance.
Set limits. Stop inappropriate/dangerous behavior. Remove the child from danger. Explain the danger briefly in understandable terms. Don’t try to reason with a toddler beyond his/her level of reasoning. Redirect the child to another activity.
“Catch” a child being good. Reinforce positive behavior.
Occasional temper tantrums are a natural expression of attention-seeking and limit testing. Remove the child to a quiet area until the behavior changes. Ask the child to let you know when they are ready to act differently.
Develop a morning routine (not too rigid). Start with several minutes of interaction (a brief “together” time). Have a personal hygiene and breakfast routine.
At age 3 or 4, allow kids to pick out their own outfits to wear (activity and weather appropriate). It encourages development of a small level of independence.
Set some “one to one” time each day with each child.
For the first six to eight weeks of life, you are totally on their schedule. You are responding to their needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
At age 6 to 8 weeks, you can begin to try to introduce routines. More attempts can be made to structure eating schedule, sleeping schedule, bath time, etc. Don’t try to push this too hard. From day one, try to read to your child daily. Continue this through toddler years. Many studies have been done on brain development to support this.
Develop playtime routines at a very early age. Physical interaction, smiling, talking, and toys that stimulate brain development are important.
Helping divorcing couples make preparations, schedules and new homes for their children is just one of our specialties. Agreement House mediates divorces, particularly those involving child support and custody, from our offices in Ahwatukee (off the I-10, near IKEA and the Tempe Auto Mall), convenient to the Metro Phoenix Arizona area and the East Valley (Chandler, Mesa, Tempe and Gilbert).
Co-parenting counseling -- Click here for a useful article from CNN, something we provide with Judith Lewis-Thome, one of our affiliates and a co-author of Arizona's parenting guidelines.