THE SECRETS OF WINNING, Number II
(Cont. from ‘THE SECRETS TO WINNING’ Custody of your Child:
This article is written primarily for the large majority of divorcing parents who cannot stay together but who love their children. It is the second half of my thoughts started with my previous article, ” THE SECRETS TO ‘WINNING’ CUSTODY OF YOUR CHILD”: http://wp.me/p4utce-Go
HERE IS WHAT I ADVISE MY CLIENT:
- Follow “The Golden Rule”, but stand up for yourself. Don’t put up with abuse and control, but “do unto” your child’s parent as you would have that parent “do unto” you.
- I used to have my client buy one of those bound journals that you find on sale after Christmas. I even bought a dozen and sold them at cost to the clients. Use that journal to keep the other parent informed.
- Now, “there is an app for that.” We have had some success with “My Family Wizard”, and expect that it or something like it will become the norm: https://www.ourfamilywizard.com/pro/courts .
- And, now that people have learned to speed type with their thumbs, texting and e-mail help the parties keep a record of their interaction.
- A text thread between conflicted parties is painful to read, F-bombs, whining, recrimination, control, threats, and obstruction. When a client brings me such a record, he tells me more than he realizes about himself or his child’s mother. Don’t do it!
- I suggest “killing with kindness”.
- Whatever the tool, journal, “snail mail”, e-mail, text, or app, provide full contact information for your child’s school teachers, principal, doctor, dentist, coach, music teacher, tutor, Sunday School teacher, and best friends’ and their parents.
- And, the more involved parent should give the less involved parent “a tutorial” on everything available for your child online as a student such as “Live Grades”, “Class Dojo”, school newsletter, or the annual online school calendar!
- Never, never sign the child up for something without seeking consent from, or informing, the other parent.
- Don’t intentionally pick an activity that will more severely impact the other parent’s time and relationship with the child than yours. Collaborate whenever possible; mediate where you cannot agree.
- Keep the other parent informed of the child’s difficulties at school, health issues, accomplishments, needs, and challenges. Work together to find solutions.
- Don’t “take the bait”. When the other parent does not immediately respond with milk, honey, and Roses; just grin and bear it. (Always keep in mind my rules to “stand up for yourself “and “do not tolerate abuse” .)
- Be persistent and consistent. Don’t try to force the “Our Family Wizard” app on someone who isn’t comfortable with the Internet, but if you have agreed or been ordered to use it, use it. If they are lax, tell me, and I will write them or their lawyer.
- Follow common courtesy. Don’t let friends or family criticize the other parent in front of the child. Urge the child to respect and obey the other parent.
- Do not tolerate your “significant other’s” intrusive behavior. Bring them onboard to your collaborative approach.
- Be alert to the child’s receiving abuse or poor treatment at the other person’s home, but do not become an inquisitor! Search for a way to inquire into such issues without putting the other parent on the defensive. That’s not always easy.
- I repeat, if there is abuse by the other parent or a significant other, contact CPS! But do not confuse a different parenting style with abuse or neglect. As the Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart said about pornography, “I know it when I see it.” It’s the same with child abuse.
- If you succeed, your child will benefit. If you try, but the other parent refuses to reciprocate, at least you will look good to the Court.
This post was written by Burton Hunter