The Divorce/Co-Parenting Coach: A Confident-Guide through Turbulent Times
by Karen Bonnell
You’re traveling on an airplane when the Captain’s voice comes across the loud speaker and says, “all passengers return to your seats; fasten your seat belts — we’re heading into some difficult weather and will be experiencing turbulence”. The plane begins to move in unpredictable ways. Your stomach roams between your toes and your throat. You think to yourself, “I wonder if this is serious? How long can this last? What’s going to happen?” You watch the flight attendant and carefully assess the look on his/her face: is he/she SCARED? The flight attendant knows if this is typical, something we should be concerned about, if there’s anything more we should be doing to stay safe. The flight attendant is trained to know what to do in an emergency and how to bring calm to a stormy ride.
Your divorce/co-parenting coach is much like that flight attendant during a storm. Separation and divorce is a family storm, a time of unpredictable emotions, large changes, uncertain futures and overwhelming details. Your divorce/co-parenting coach has walked with many families through these turbulent times. He/she knows about stages of grief, how to manage emotions you may have never felt before, about how to tell your children about the changes the family is facing, and how to keep their childhoods safe from unnecessary conflict as you and your partner dismantle an important primary relationship.
Your divorce/co-parenting coach knows how to carry confidence in a constructive future when you lack confidence in yourself or your ability to put one foot in front of the other. He/she gently and pragmatically urges you forward toward resolution, building needed skills for your divorce process, and helpful protocols to be successful co-parents.
If you’re contemplating separation/divorce, choose a process that puts the emotional safety of your children first, which includes a process that will help you transition from upset/angry spouses to constructive co-parents. Collaborative process provides you with attorneys dedicated to a strong two-home family legal outcome, while your divorce/co-parenting coach walks with you through the turbulent emotional times providing the practical “how to’s” to become a healthy two-home family now and into the future.
The Co-Parents’ Handbook is due out September 2014.