Category Archives: Parenting

handling holidays post-divorce

Handling the Holidays as a Post-Divorce Parent

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Guest Post by Katie Vessel on the Elephant Journal

This last holiday season was hard.

This was the second round of holidays after what was a difficult divorce, following an even more difficult marriage.

Things have been processed for the most part, about as processed as they can be at this point. I have moved on with my life in many healthy ways, have discovered and renewed passions that have been in my blood since I was a young girl, have made many soul friends and am truly enjoying my life on the other side of what was nothing short of a life-changing experience.

But, something was different this year. Continue reading

De-escalate Divorce During the Holidays

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By Lisa Brick

This is the Holiday Season, the season that bombards us with songs of peace on earth and goodwill to humanity and images of happy, laughing families and perfect gifts to buy and receive. Rather than being able to retreat to a cave to figure yourself out and how you got where you are, you’re thrown into planning and appearing in social situations where conversations can go from neutral to crucial in the blink of an eye, destroying anything enjoyable.

This season can be different because you can be different.   Continue reading

Going From Bitter to Better

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By Lisa Brick

For many of you who have found your way to Journey Beyond Divorce this divorce may not be your first.  Your first experience with divorce may have been when your parents split up.  The relationship you have with your spouse is also rarely the first contentious and painful relationship in your life, although it may well be the most agonizing. There are a number of you who have experienced other challenges in your childhood home, including neglect, substance abuse, sexual abuse, and violence.  All of these experiences compound the pain around the discord and dissolution of your marriage.
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Co-Parenting: Acting Like a Grown-Up for Your Kids

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By Karen Basmagy

Easier said than done for many, maintaining a mature co-parenting relationship with your ex may be your greatest challenge as you seek to rebuild and redefine your life post-marriage. Emotions may still be running high for a very long time for one or both of you. It is imperative that you deal with the emotional demons surrounding your divorce in order to be the parent your child needs you to be. Though you can’t control the behavior of your ex, you can control your own and model what it truly means to be a “Grown-Up’. And by the way, being a grown-up also includes not pointing out how immature your ex’s behavior is. Your child will figure that out on his own as he grows and matures.

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Co-parenting Post Divorce – Turning Challenges Into Opportunities

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By Karen McMahon

Co-parenting in contentious relationships creates additional challenges above and beyond those discussed in Part 1 of this series, Co-parenting Post Divorce:  Tools & Strategies.


Take Off Your Armor and Put Down Your Sword

You may have been fighting for months or years over child support, custody, assets and personal property.  Now that the divorce is over, you may feel overly sensitive, tender, suspicious and still defensive.  Shifting out of your protective ‘armor’, letting down your defenses and being open to some flexibility within the parameters of your settlement agreement takes a conscious effort. Life is not black and white and the most well thought-out shared parenting plan is bound to run up against real life and the need for give and take.
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Immediate Impact – Children and Divorce

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By Lisa Brick

While divorce does not determine whether your children will suffer negative long term effects of your family’s fracturing, the way in which you interact with your spouse while you are divorcing will.

You have the power to make your children’s experience of divorce a more or less neutral, healthy or unhealthy event emotionally.  
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Co-parenting Post Divorce

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By Karen McMahon

Many challenges of co-parenting post-divorce are universal whether you have an amicable divorce or not. Other more unique challenges are faced by those emerging from a contentious divorce and custody battle.

The key to peaceful co-parenting post-divorce lies in keeping the focus on what is best for the kids.  I this two part series I address both the logistics and emotions of co-parenting with a person you were unable to stay married to.    Continue reading

Unearth Your Deepest Desires: An exercise in heart-centered new beginnings

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By Karen McMahon

During my years of coaching I have been fascinated at how often as adults we forget how to dream.  When asked what their ideal is where a job, relationship, home or life, clients more often than not, “I don’t know”.  When we dig deeper, most discuss what they don’t want and that is what they focus on.  When our attention is focused on the very thing we don’t want, we unconsciously manifest it.


What We Appreciate Appreciates!  What we focus our attention on grows! Continue reading

Co-Parenting with an Unhealthy Ex: Turn Difficulties into Oppurtunities

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By: Karen McMahon


If you are a divorcing parent, the best advice is to put differences aside, the kids first and co-parent in a healthy cooperative manner. It makes sense…most of the time. Yet if your ex is abusive, an active addict or living with a personality disorder, you may be dealing with more confrontation than cooperation; more insanity than reason.


How do you help your children when they face disappointment, abusive behavior or frustration with an unhealthy parent?  

You have a choice to make.  You can focus on why mom or dad is wrong or bad, or you can focus on the lessons intrinsic in the difficult experiences.  The former is a problem-oriented approach and will leave your children disempowered and stuck in a dead-end story.  The latter is a solution-oriented approach and enables you to help your children focus on and be empowered to create what they desire.

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Parenting Tips: Are you a fear-based parent?

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Guest Post: Steven Cessario

Yes? No? Maybe? Kind of? Do you even know?

Fear-based parenting means you’re coming from a place where you are afraid of what can happen.

If you’re displaying fear based-parenting you probably have anxiety about your kids growing up, going out with friends, expect your teen to do stupid and obnoxious things, will never get their act together and needs to get better grades or they’ll never be successful.

Raise your hand if you feel this way!

Your teen might ask, “Hey mom can I go to a party Friday night?” Continue reading