As a rule, people who get married don’t expect to get divorced. Sadly, we know that given time a substantial number of people will be unpleasantly surprised.
Often the turmoil brews for several years before the decision to divorce is made. A factor which many take into account is the well-being of their children.
In the past people have often decided to wait until the children are older thinking that a stable family home is important in the early years. Increasingly, however, this advice has been turned on its head with the message that children are better off out of an environment where the parents do not love each other.
I wouldn’t want to give general advice one way or the other on this as it depends on the individual circumstances, but what I would emphasise is that we must not underestimate the effects of divorce on young people.
In a study my colleagues and I conducted some years ago we surveyed over 400 young people in their early teens. We asked them to answer a checklist of upsetting life-events. Life-threatening events and witnessing attacks were among the most common events. For those who had experienced such events there was a high prevalence of posttraumatic stress. But what surprised us was that parental separation or divorce was also a common event associated with posttraumatic stress. We found that 29%of boys and 39% of girls who reported that their parents had separated or divorced had high levels of posttraumatic stress.
While the results of any one study need to be treated with caution, the bottom line is that we should not underestimate the trauma of divorce on young people.
If we love our children then whatever we decide to do has to be done with their welfare at heart. Young people need a sense of belonging, safety and security if they are to develop psychologically. Our task must be to ensure they get their psychological needs met whether the decision is to stay together or get divorced.
To find out more about my work see: http://www.profstephenjoseph.com
Joseph, S., Mynard, H., & Mayall, M. (2000). Life-events and post-traumatic stress in a sample of English adolescents. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 10, 475-482.
on November 14, 2018 | coParenting, Dealing With Conflict, Everyday Challenges, Tips & Lists | No Comments Whether you have a stress-free or stress-filled coParenting situation, good negotiation skills are a must. Sure, you might have an agreement or certain arrangements already outlined, but things change. Not everything can go according to plan. Cue the oh-so-important negotiating skills!
If you’re like 80% of the population, you tend to use the “wait and see” technique, looking for the other person to make the first move. However, when you’re a coParent, there’s a lot to be said for taking the initiative or being the bigger person. I’ve learned this slowly with my own coParenting situation, and I still need reminders from time to time. Whether you’re negotiating time, discipline, or anything else, consider these twelve tips to ensure optimal success!
Kate Scharff, a divorce expert and therapist writes, “It takes practice, but you can learn to address misinformation about you (and address the emotional damage it causes) without resorting to counterattacks or pulling your kids into an alliance against the other parent.”
Children of all ages sense when their parents are cooperating and this will mean the world to them and help them feel calmer and to have fewer divided loyalties.
*Article borrowed by Harvard Business Review*
JUNE 09, 2016
It’s not easy to stay cool and engaged when things get heated in meetings, negotiations, or difficult conversations. We’ve all been there. You might say something that you later regret, or get stuck on one point trying to prove that you’re right, ultimately losing sight of the bigger picture. Maybe you’ve damaged trust in a broader relationship with a colleague, client, vendor, or perhaps your spouse or kids. At times like this, you might wish you could hit that reset button and have a do-over. With so much at stake, how do you keep a heated conversation constructive?Watch for the tipping point. Know your own cues for when a healthy, lively debate is tipping into a more precarious direction. Only you know what’s happening inside of you, signaling that your “fight or flight” bells are about to go off. The best indicator, according to Amy Gallo, author of HBR Guide to Managing Conflict at Work, “is your own physical reaction that you are starting to feel threatened. Your heart rate goes up, your face may turn red, and your breathing becomes more shallow.” As things physiologically get turned up, says Gallo, “the risk is losing access to the rational front cortex of the brain and then it becomes more difficult to be your best self.”
Rick Juneja, SVP for Client Success at Opower, leads a team of 145 people whose role is to deliver software and services to global clients. Juneja says, “When something goes wrong, clients expect us to solve the issue fast, which is not always an easy task. Staying calm is critical.” He encourages his team to track not only their own reactions, but to also “watch for shifts in the other person. You could be heading down an unproductive path if you see the other person shift their weight, cross their arms, or start hurling questions at you. Rather than becoming reactive to that, stay in the driver’s seat.” Gallo concurs, “Emotional contagion is very real, so once one person gets heated up, it’s easy to mirror that behavior and before you know it, you have two people swinging punches.”
Focus on something physical to regain perspective. Because reactivity has such a strong physical element, bring focus to the physical self to stay calm. “First and foremost, breathe,” says Gallo. “By taking a few deep breaths, you can stay in your body and stay out of reactive mode.” Use the 4-7-8 breathing technique for quick results, where you breathe in for 4 counts, hold for 7 counts, and exhale for 8. Dr. Andrew Weil, physician and author of many integrative medicine and health books, describes this breathing technique as “a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system. Use it whenever anything upsetting happens before you react.” You can watch Dr. Weil’s demonstration of how to do this, as well as its additional health benefits, here.
In addition to breathing, literally touch objects around you and notice the sensations. “Put your hand on the table,” says Gallo. “Feel your feet on the ground. Notice where your legs are resting on the chair. The key is not to get stuck in your head.” You can also “zoom out” and notice the art work on the walls or the size of the room — anything to increase the sense of space that may be closing in if you are starting to feel defensive or backed up on your heels.
YOU AND YOUR TEAM SERIESNegotiating
Get to empathy and create bridges. With a more objective viewpoint, you can bring empathy to the conversation. Juneja regularly advises his team, “Let the other person air her grievances. Ensure that she feels heard and gets things off her chest.” Gallo agrees. “What I see happen in conflict is that someone starts to vent and the other person feels a need to interrupt. Instead, suspend the need to be right and move to a more powerful place of listening.”
Empathy is not about agreement. Nor is it the same as giving in, being passive, or allowing the other person to mistreat you. Recognize as you make more room for emotion that you are actually helping to discharge it. By allowing the other person to vent, you also gain access to other important facts, assumptions, and constraints at play – all critical information for bridging the gap between you and the other person. Below are some illustrative examples of bridges that can lead to more constructive resolution when things get heated:
Amy Jen Su is a co-founder and managing partner of Paravis Partners, a boutique executive coaching and leadership development firm. She is co-author, with Muriel Maignan Wilkins, of Own the Room: Discover Your Signature Voice to Master Your Leadership Presence. Follow Amy on twitter @amyjensu.
This article is about DIFFICULT CONVERSATIONS
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Terri Spigelmyer and Glenn Cravez are pleased to offer a 40 hour Basic Family Mediation Training in Anchorage October 27-31, 2018. This training will satisfy the Alaska Court System’s 40 hour mediation training prerequisite for participating in the Child Custody and Visitation Mediation Program (CCVMP), the Child in Need of Aid (CINA) Mediation Program, Adult Guardianship Mediation (AGM) Program, and Minor Guardianship mediations.
Please fill out the registration form below to register by October 15, 2018.
Terri Spigelmyer is the Lead Mediator for the child custody and visitation, adult and minor guardianship, and child protection mediation programs of the Alaska Court. In addition to mediating in these programs for 18 years, Terri has trained and mentored one-on-one with
mediators in the Court programs for ten years, and she currently supervises all contract mediators in the court connected programs. Terri has co-facilitated and coached new and experienced mediators in 40 hour mediation trainings, as well as presenting to and training user groups of the court connected programs.
Terri graduated from Ohio State University Law School and has been practicing law in Alaska since 1987. In her private practice, Terri has facilitated large group discussions as well as mediating a variety of issues from dissolution of partnerships to non-profit board disputes. Terri participates monthly in the Early Resolution Program in Kenai, and is a member of the Professional Mediators of Alaska and the Association for Conflict Resolution.
Glenn Cravez has mediated for nearly 30 years, and he chairs the Alaska Bar Association’s Mediation and Arbitration Section. Glenn mediates family, business, and workplace disputes. He is Past President of the Professional Mediators of Alaska. Glenn
has served as a mediation trainer, co-trainer, and coach in many past trainings, most recently for the Alaska Court System in December 2017. He also teaches mediation as an adjunct professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
In addition to mediating in private practice, Glenn mediates in the Alaska Court System’s Guardianship, Child-in-Need-of-Aid, Child Custody and Visitation Mediation, and Early Resolution programs. Glenn graduated from Duke University Law School and has practiced law in Alaska since 1981. He is an Advanced Practitioner member of the Association for Conflict Resolution.
Training DetailsEvent Dates and Timeframe
Friday, June 1, 5:30 pm-9 pm, Sat. June 2, 9 am-5 pm, Sun. June 3, 9 am-5 pm
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Training Overview DescriptionThis beginning basic training will present conflict resolution skills through experiential learning exercises and practice with the goal of helping Direct Service providers and community members to think about and make choices to reduce conflicts in work and everyday settings. There will be 18 Contact Hours associated with this training.
Carrie Farr, Lead Facilitator
Institute on Understanding & Managing High-Conflict Legal Disputes
8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
March 16, 2018
Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center - 2nd Floor
7.0 General CLE Credits | CLE #2018-015 Registration fee: $175 After March 9: $200
Presented by: Peter Robinson – Professor of Law, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution Pepperdine University
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BASIC FAMILY MEDIATION TRAINING
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Date: December 2-6, 2017 Venue: Alaska Court System Snowden Building Training Center
820 W 4th Avenue Anchorage, Alaska 99501
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