What are some tips of making the best out of co-parenting and doing the best job that we can for our children? And what happens if co parenting is just very difficult? And the one thing that I think we can all do with remembering, which perhaps we don’t, is that parenting is tricky, whether we’re single parenting, co-parenting, or in a settled marriage family unit. Our guests are Susan Leigh, Katherine Harding and Tom Nash
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Susan is a Counsellor and Hypnotherapist who has specialised in relationship counselling since 1998. Based in Altrincham, Cheshire and South Manchester, Susan works with couples in matrimonial or dispute situations, helping to mediate and find compromise no matter the context.
Susan qualified with the Academy of Curative Hypnotherapy and holds the Counselling Advanced Level 4 Diploma. She is registered with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) and is a member of the College of Medicine. Susan has appeared on BBC TV and hosts her own afternoon chat show on Trafford Sound radio.
Katherine is an associate in the family law team based in London. She acts for clients in all areas of family law, including divorce, financial disputes, private law children work and injunctive proceedings. Katherine has gained very considerable experience in complex international cases, with extensive work on numerous domestic cases.
She is a member of Resolution and sits on its Working Together Committee.
You can contact Katherine here: email@example.com
Tom Nash – aka Mr Divorce Coach, is an internationally certified Coach, specialising in Divorce, Separation & Family Coaching.
He is a child of divorce, a divorcee himself, a father, step-father & successful co-parent of his own blended family.
Tom works with men, women & couples, assisting in their emotional well-being, positive mindset and practical support through a clients divorce/separation.
Tamsin Caine is a Chartered Financial Planner with over 20 years experience. She works with couples and individuals who are at the end of a relationship and want agree how to divide their assets FAIRLY without a fight.
You can contact Tamsin at firstname.lastname@example.org or arrange a free initial meeting using this link. She is also part of the team running Facebook group Separation, Divorce and Dissolution UK
Tamsin Caine MSc., FPFS
Chartered Financial Planner
Smart Divorce Ltd
P.S. I am the co-author of “My Divorce Handbook – It’s What You Do Next That Counts”, written by divorce specialists and lawyers writing about their area of expertise to help walk you through the divorce process. You can buy it by scanning the QR code…
(The transcript has been created by an AI, apologies for any mistakes)
Tamsin Caine 0:06
This week on the Smart Divorce podcast, we’re talking all about the sticky subject of co-parenting. So what is it? What are some tips of making the best of co-parenting and doing the best job that we can for our children? And what happens if co-parenting is just very difficult? And the one thing that I think we can all do with remembering, which perhaps we don’t, is that parenting is tricky, whether we’re single parenting, co-parenting, or in a settled marriage family unit. So don’t beat yourself up. Let’s jump right in. Hello, and welcome to the Smart Divorce Podcast. I’m delighted to be joined by three, hopefully now familiar faces, but I’m shortly going to hand over to each of them to introduce themselves. I’m Tamsin Caine. I’m a chartered financial planner and resolution accredited divorce specialist. And my first guest today is Mr. Tom Nash, Mr. Divorce Coach. Tom, how are you doing?
Tom Nash 1:20
I’m doing very well. Thank you. Thanks for having us back again. For those that haven’t heard me on here before or you’ve been here before, until … divorce coach or the guy in the yellow chair, I assist clients with the emotional mindset and practicalities around their divorce or separation through two particular things like we’re talking about today, around co-parenting, their emotional journey and emotional process, their communication strategies, and journey helping people separate in the positive way.
Tamsin Caine 1:49
Fantastic! Thank you, Tom. Thank you for coming back again. And then we have Katie, how are you doing, Katie?
Katherine Harding 1:56
Morning. I’m very well. Thank you. Thanks for having me back again. I’m Katie Harding. I’m an associate family law associate at Penningtons Manches Cooper in London. And I specialise in all areas of family law. So from the divorce at the beginning, or the separation, all the way through to the children, the finances and everything in between zoom, prenups and post naps and surrogacy and all those other interesting issues that arise.
Tamsin Caine 2:23
Fantastic. Thank you, Katie. And last, but in no means least, is the wonderful Susan Lee, who is still topping our podcast charts with the most popular episode. How are you doing, Susan?
Susan Leigh 2:38
Excellent. Thank you very much. I’m Susan Leigh. I’m a counsellor and a hypnotherapist I help and support people, individuals, couples, family units, children, the preliminary before the divorce, where they’re perhaps struggling, the relationship is decompressing this, they’re struggling with their attitude. They feel good, that resilience. And then we work through that to help them understand what’s going on, and feel more positive about the journey.
Tamsin Caine 3:09
And that’s wonderful. Thank you. And so today we’re going to be talking about co-parenting. And I’m going to start with our divorce coach Tom to introduce the topic of co-parenting, because I know it’s something that’s very, it’s very close to your heart. So I wonder if you could start off by talking a bit about what co-parenting actually means.
Tom Nash 3:41
Okay.I was discussing this very topic yesterday with a group of solicitors. A lot of people tend to have the view that it’s around helping people to effectively find their friendship again, in some respects that it’s going to be because it’s cooperative, collaborative, cohesive, that it’s about finding a new form of friendship. It’s not it’s just essentially the basics. And the crux of it is is finding a new form of trust and a way to work and communicate with each other. For the best interest of the children at the same time is the best interest for yourselves. Reduce the acrimony, the contentiousness create structure, rules, boundaries, etc. How we’re going to operate, also preparing for changes in the future. All too often, what we can tend to find is particularly early stages as well, when there’s emotions are running really high or particularly for especially centres very suitable for high conflict situations is people tend to fall into what we call parallel parenting, where there is very little to no direct contact, there is very little to no mirroring of any rules, guidelines, interactions, etc. And we are essentially parallel with both parents at same time, but completely separately, and having very, very little to no interaction. The flip side to co-parenting with a polar opposite at the end is counter parenting, where someone is going, consciously or otherwise So out of the way to do the complete opposite to actually being collaborative and supportive. The focus I say for co-parenting is around help at the Children’s Centre, not the middle. And how we can create a easier flow of transitions, ways to work together dealing with future situations that might come up. Also how to prepare for future potential conflict as well with one another as changes go along for the children as they grow as well. So it’s about finding your new working relationship, your new partnership, and how you can actually do that in an auxiliary supportive. But it’s still separated man.
Tamsin Caine 5:38
Absolutely. And, Susan, I’d like to bring you in if that’s okay, what why is co-parenting so important as opposed to the parallel or counter parenting that Tom’s just described?
Susan Leigh 5:51
I think co-parenting is quite an interesting one, because hopefully it starts when we’re actually parents in a relationship together and find that one parent perhaps, shoulders, most of it, and the other one might drop in, because they’re working all the time, or we work away or you know, that they’re stressed and not got that much interest in whatever. So we know our relationship is breaking down, to start thinking about this and saying, Okay, we may have just allowed situations to evolve and develop, which often happens anyway, what’s the relationship is breaking down, God would pick it up. So that means children and be, you know, parented through this is how the positive away as possible. And for me the stepping stone. So step one is that if we are breaking up, that children into it far more than that, give them credit for showing up know what’s going on without actually having been told anything. They know, when I was silences when the door opens, they know about the tension that’s going on in the room that where the doors shut. So sort of telling people appropriate information about you know, they don’t need to know all the Socrates. And he said, and this happens, and do you know what that’s possibly been going on? But telling people age appropriately, what actually has been going on and how their lives will be affected? So they think kids are interested in really is are they still going to go to the same school on this table, my Dad, what about their napes? How often in the standard thing, to live, that kind of thing. So telling your children age appropriate, and allowing them to know what’s going on, and what will happen. And that’s a big step in orienting. When your things are talked about the sharing of children are involved in possible as much as healthy for them to know what’s actually going on. And then standing your ground with those arrangements. If you have arrangements, that you include them, you let them know things that changes, they honour them. Nothing worse than little Johnny stood at the front door, waiting for mom or dad to chain up and they’re not arriving and gradually being shepherded into the dining room. So it’s about being sensitive and respectful. And my big rule for co-parenting is treat any discussions as a business arrangement. To me that’s not it. There’s one takeaway from my input today. It’s true anything is a business arrangement, don’t allow emotions to get involved. If you’re discussing something with your estranged next, help just just go through an effectual natural way, just like you would if you’re having a meeting with your business manager, or whoever it might be, because that keeps things on track. It’s the emotions glands they are really which is where they need to be.
Katherine Harding 8:46
I think that’s actually really important Susan, I think, when couples are separating, you know, if they’re getting divorced, or they haven’t been married, and then they’ve just decided to go their separate ways. It’s really easy to lose sight of the fact that the children are also going through that disruption as well. And that’s, again, why goes back to what you were saying about the importance of co-parenting is that you have to bear in mind that the children are experiencing to some degree, what you’re experiencing, too, they’re experiencing a separation as well. And the co-parenting is going to give them that stability, that they still need to know that, you know, Wednesday’s dad goes to watch the football match and brings them home from school or whatever. And then on Saturdays, he goes, you know, goes out with mum somewhere or whatever it might be. So they need they need to have that stability, but without all the emotional turmoil that you’re going through as well. Yeah.
Susan Leigh 9:43
Well, theyexperience it very differently than you do too. I mean, I’m in a child’s relationship with mom or dad. It’s very different than your relationship with your husband or wife or partner. So you know, the fact that he you know, he was criticising and being abusive or was holding money or whatever is irrelevant to us, the kids are concerned that they just want to know, does this mean I’ll get my trainers, new trainers next week? Or the school lunches or not, you can still go on a trip. So these are the things that you know. So children are incredibly selfish, in lots of ways, but it’s about survival for them. And so including them in age appropriate.
Katherine Harding 10:25
So in circumstances where I mean, it’s so easy for us to say, oh, we’ll just put the emotional stuff to one side and, you know, deal with it like a business transaction, and it will all be fine. But if a client came to see you, Tom, for example, how and they were struggling with that spectre of it, how would you? I mean, I know it’s probably very specific to each person, but how would you help them through that?
Tom Nash 10:49
Yeah. So touching on what Susan was saying that I completely agree, I think we’re always on the same page, at least in these types of situations, Susan, but one of the things that I do with microphones, again, whether it’s individuals, or whether it’s working with couples is I actually get them to start, like Susan says, Get out and emotional getting into the business of divorce, one of the things I get to do is I get to do like a co-parenting values exercise. So core values exercise, this is less about them really looking at those core values, but more a chance or an opportunity for them to realise that even though there might be slightly different words and nuances, they’re still going to be across energy for them, they both still want the same things for their child and for their children. And those lessons still, so trying to get them back to what actually what do you want for your children? How do you want what what type of adults do you want to produce, and his children want less life lessons humans take so get into starting to work back around what their values are, as parents and their co-parenting relationship, I actually get clients to actually come up with a co-parenting code of conduct, like a company handbook, code of ethics. And that has things around their communications, right down to the nitty gritty of where, when, and how it’s like set and setting, getting the right mindset, but also the physical setting environment. I had this conversation with a while ago with a couple I was working with. And so when you guys have previously had the family discussions, or the adult talks, whether these happened in the breakfast bar, okay, and how they’ve gone previously, it was descending into chaos, etc. Okay, so actually, if you’re already going into this environment that you’ve already attached an attachment to is always a negative experience, we need to shift that up. So stop making it agenda focused one or a couple of points that you specifically need to work on. Because the other thing is that when we’re starting to talk about some of these, especially in the early days is difficult situations that we need to work around as CO parents and who’s doing what, when, where and why is that actually, we then go off piste. And we’re not sticking to the original points that we’re trying to focus on. And then it’s the other points that bring in the emotion back into it. When we focused on that initial appointment we’re working on. We’ve already got some facts and figures that we’re working with and some structure that then we we don’t we go off on a tangent and find a different route. And then we can go into back into the emotions back into the past experiences back into the adult of adult relationships. Exactly, as Susan was saying, so it’s helping people to step back from themselves, build some structure around that I actually have with a lot of clients, I get them to start making a frequency of once a week, once a fortnight once a month, whatever it is, they are both happy and capable to do of just meeting a customer for a coffee for 1015 minutes to talk about the one thing that they need to that surrounds the children. That’s fact based, not emotionally based. Because they’ve also need to rebuild. As I said at the beginning, they’ve got to start rebuilding a new form of trust, and a new bond, a new way of communicating and working together. So you’ve got to strip it right back. And let’s do this and we’ve got to get back to fat and practicality so that they can look at what’s in the best interest of the kids. I’m Sophia Susan says not their relationships with one another. And even more. So the fact that as children we grow up, we do this as adults don’t mean Oh, I get that from my dad or I get that from my mom that that part of me and that part stem. So if you’re one of the parents is saying, Oh negatively as well, even not necessarily to indirectly in front of your children, but even in the background to your friends or whoever it might be that they always do this that always does that mums that type of person. They’re just gonna take that internalise that and that’s 50% of them. So that’s now part for them that they’re internalising thinking, Well, if you don’t like that, that mommy and daddy don’t like that about me. And again, that’s now coming into the widest period of co-parenting relationship. So it does have that huge wide ripple effect. So trying to figure out your structure and a way to go about it and how to approach it. I actually had a couple about a year ago who we also worked through what are the words phrases people situations of the past or the adult relationships that we now need to put to bed and leave in the past? They’re quite visual people. So create we created one of those them kind of like commonly called like word clouds. type things, we’ve got one main word through the middle, you’ve got ones coming up here, they’re everywhere. They actually got these made up as posters, and they put them up in their own kitchens. I mean, their kids were teen and preteen. And they made themselves accountable to the kids to say, this is the way that we’re going to work. This is our charter for our co-parenting relationship. If we deviate from this plan, you guys can hold us accountable.
Katherine Harding 15:23
I think it’s important, remember, because there might be people listening who think, you know, their relationships are in in such a bad place that they can’t communicate in a way they might have used to. So they might they maybe they can’t even message each other, maybe that’s too much. Or if there’s, you know, elements of domestic abuse or something like that, it might not be appropriate for them to communicate that way. So I think, like, parenting isn’t just, you know, like, you know, meeting up for coffee, brilliant, if you could do it, lots of people probably can’t, especially at the beginning. So it’s not just having to revert to how you’ve always communicated, because also maybe that hasn’t worked in the past, and maybe that. So I think you have to also think about co-parenting can mean, you know, maybe you use there are other, you know, online tools and stuff. There’s our family wizard and others, that you can use to keep in contact with each other to provide each other with updates about what’s happened. So just because you’re not in a place where you can communicate easily face to face or via email or whatever with with someone else doesn’t mean that you can’t effectively co parent because there are other ways to do it.
Tamsin Caine 16:30
Yeah, absolutely. I totally agree. at it, I just wondered if you could touch on the way that that the divorce process can impact and the which options you take and impact on the co-parenting relationship that that you might have with your ex, because certainly when no fault divorce came in, and we’re going to talk about that in more detail in another episode. But you know, we’re almost a year, a year through into no fault divorce. And the idea was to help people to not be hurling, you know, accusations at one another in in that process. So I guess, has it helped? And and how does the divorce process impact that co-parenting relationship?
Katherine Harding 17:19
I don’t know whether it’s helped if I’m honest, it’s really I think it’s probably too soon to tell. I think, theoretically, of course, if you’re not slinging allegations around that immediately take some of the heat out of the divorce process. But some people might feel the flipside to that is actually, it was almost therapeutic, to put it down on paper and just get out there. And then it’s done. And it’s been said, and there’s a degree of accountability. I think generally speaking, though, it’s it’s got to be better that there isn’t blame in the divorce process. But if you if you’re going into a divorce, or a separation, with this real anger towards one another, that is, of course going to impact your co-parenting relationship. And it was what we were talking about before, it’s not easy, just to cut off your emotions from everything else that you have to continue doing every, every day. Because this person’s formed a huge part of your life, you’ve made a whole nother human being with them. It’s just not as straightforward as saying, Well, okay, well, let’s not worry about the emotions, we’ll just, we’ll just carry on with co-parenting and everything will be fine. But just because, you know, often I find that things can sort of be fairly amicable money, riles people up, but I think I think that tends to create a lot of contention in a separation. But just because perhaps that aspect of your separation is is very contentious, that doesn’t mean that everything else that goes alongside it. So the child arrangements predominantly has to be the same. You don’t have to go through a court process. You can go through a bit of the court process and ask the court for some help on if there are specific issues that you can’t agree on. Or you can you can formalise an agreement that you’ve reached between you if you want to, or you don’t have to do any of that. You can, you know, get assistance from someone like us and do a parenting plan, which is not dissimilar to some of the things that that Tom was detailing about how he helps his clients come up with a plan for co-parenting. And I think it can be a really helpful way in some ways. I think once you’re having those. If you can have those conversations early on, that’s really good. But sometimes that’s not sometimes that’s just not always the way is it sometimes I actually find people tend to deal with the Children’s stuff, in some ways a bit more easier. early on because they have to because the child is there and then and they need something from their parents immediately and constantly wearing is with the finances that can sort of wait that doesn’t have the urgency generally, that child arrangements do so often people may resolve the children’s stuff themselves might need some help from us with the finances or sort of specific children issues if they need to
Tamsin Caine 20:18
Fabulous. Susan, I was just thinking Katie was talking about the, the anger and the emotions that that are kind of there. And, you know, we’ve, we’ve talked before about the grief cycle and how divorce, you know, is impacted by all those things on the Cooper our cycle that that we’re familiar with. I’m thinking that if I had somebody who was in that space, where all the emotions were there in clay, that they’d be best to, to seek some help from somebody like yourself to deal with those emotions, in order to take that step back and start dealing with things on at best, like a business arrangement, as we were talking about before. Is that Is that something that you’d be able to help with?
Susan Leigh 21:04
Yeah, it’s, it’s still just that I work with a lot. And I think it’s helping people clarify what their own stuff is, if you like, what’s actually going on, because often we find we are triggered by things that other people wouldn’t be affected by, I often will reference something as simple as sending it to somebody saying thank you. Text, if you’re in a bad mood can be read a sarcastic or insulting or negative, if you’re in a good mood, you just accept it as it is, and perhaps going on even RB realise what you’re reading. So I think emotions are a similar thing that when we’re in our own bubble of emotions, and we’re feeling now we’re very curious, what the heck’s going on or after all I’ve done to him. And we’re in that sort of loop of anger, maps, even self loathing as well as the consequences of feeling we must be absolutely awful, because we can’t even do a relationship. So there can be a load of stuff going on with the value of marriage and your relationship. And I think, understanding of bits of them, so understand the input into them, and help us make sense of it. For a start without really repeating in the future, we don’t want to be carrying all that we always say dealt with the first relationship after a breakup is often the real reason for that is we’re taking more love this homeless now wanting to dump it on somebody else in person, take all this Northland got to give up that is completely in this network. Because we need to take that step. We tend to what has gone on what has gone, gone wrong? What’s our responsibility, or our commitment or involvement in this? What do we need to learn? And how can we rectify those patterns. So that’s where therapy can be incredibly useful in a situation like that, because we, we have to make jargon speak. But we have to own our own chips. Don’t wait. We have to own our own self, you know, our own. You know, my dad, that’s what men alive. That’s what women are loving, you know, what I call the life rules and legislation. But they might as well be because women always do this men are always supposed to do that children should go together should be this way. We expect things to be a certain way. Because that’s what we’re programmed to feel for whatever reason. And if our partner doesn’t show them, what we’re starting to discover life isn’t Lackland you know, a bit of a blooper. And we have to sort of relearn and we educate ourselves. And that’s, that’s part of grunt. And that’s, we talked before about giving thanks afterwards, for the things that we were forced to do when our job didn’t continue when our health didn’t continue when our relationship didn’t continue. those defining moments in life that pull us up short, and our events to three years later, where we think we were shoved into that situation at home to review our money earning potential or job potential life, we found out and it didn’t work out that way. Actually, you know, as a consequence.
Tamsin Caine 24:16
Yeah, absolutely. I think the thing that this is such an important topic and and I think we can massively impact the lives that our kids have moving forward as they move on into adulthood and start having relationships themselves. And one thing that…
Susan Leigh 24:34
Sara as well, we need to think about too, is that we forget sometimes that children need to see the cycle of arguing. Yes, so why don’t we just found we might see a situation where it’s simmering is cooking on gas and it’s exploding and then we say stuff, they’ll talk about that we’ll say that the kids do not let the kids in and we go into another And when we continue it 234 hours later, and children need to see that arguing, sometimes yes, sometimes there might be an outcome when we both shake hands. And effectively, I may get your point of view, I agree completely. Or we might say, I disagree. I’ll never agree with you. But however, I respect your right to feel that way, about how we actually say, I don’t agree with you. And you know, whether it’s constructive or not people kids need to see about arguing and how it gets resolved at the end of the day. And that is part of the lesson that we don’t always see the need to see, at some point that parents either hug and makeup afterwards, or they respect each other, and they walk away, but it’s continued. And that whole cycle needs to be learned and understood. Otherwise, kids don’t know what to do with all that anger, sometimes. Situation themselves.
Tom Nash 25:53
I couldn’t agree more, they need to learn how to close the loop. Because, as you say, the again, not necessary agreement, but the acknowledgement and also the vulnerability of accepting and apologising in front of people. Because again, we need to be if we’re trying to teach them these life lessons, we need to help them learn how to close the loop. Absolutely. I couldn’t agree more. So we might as well be sitting in the same square on here, because we definitely agree?
Tamsin Caine 26:17
Well, that’s good to hear. I’d quite like you to completely disagree so that we can show how that works. But I don’t feel we have much of that on this podcast, we all seem to be be coming from the same place. I think something that I just like to add is a situation that that I had quite early on in our co-parenting relationship, because I think this is this is kind of one of the points at which it’s important to understand why we do it. And this was was when, and I can’t remember which my children it was which which is awful, but they decided that they were going to play me and my ex husband off against each other. So they were going to come and ask him think I genuinely can’t remember which nitrogen it was. But they came to ask me if it’s money to do something or other way that or to buy something with? And I’d said No, it’s It’s stopped possible at the moment. So then they’d gone to their dad and gone. Oh, can I have some money for this? And he’d gone? Well, you know, what’s what’s mom said, and they’d gone, you know, that it’s fine with her. And he was like her. And thanks really rang me and said, I’ve just had a call from one of our children. And this is what they’ve said, is this, this how you feel? And obviously, like I was going, they’ve already come to me with this first. And obviously I’ve said no, and they’ve come to you. And sometimes just being able to go to even contact the other person and say I think there’s a bit of a bit of that going on. And actually because it was stamped out. On that occasion, it’s actually never never happened since. And I think those sorts of things can be can be so useful. Tom, have you experienced similar because you’re in a similar position as a parent?
Tom Nash 28:18
Absolutely. The best part was a few years later, when actually there was a kind of epiphany moment for all four kids where they kind of went, Hmm, we can’t play off of each other. That’s their job, isn’t it? That is actually their job as kids is to test the boundaries and they learn what rules are risk reward, reprimand, etc. But no, absolutely, very similar situation. But Mom was slightly different in that kind of next door. Susan, I talked about closing the conflict loop was again a character which which one of kids it was but it was I was going to be taken by the kids that we can often take him for a haircut. I took them to somewhere that the place that I go to man takes them to something different. And the place that I went to is a little bit more expensive. Now one of the boys is phrases as I heard it and how I internalised it was mommy says you can’t take us to such and such as barbershop. That’s how I took exactly what Susan was saying earlier that text message, thank you whatever it was, and immediately I hunkered down and go I can take my children wherever I want to get their hair cut, and I doubled down. I’m your dad I can take away what we spoke about it with mum afterwards and what it transpired she was actually doing me a favour because she knew that it was more expensive than twice the price and she was actually saying if your dad’s gonna get your haircut this weekend, get him to take you to so and so because it’s half the price. But that’s not what that’s not what comes out right. So even when it wasn’t them playing soccer on purpose. It’s also then still how we internalised it, but again, closing that conflict loop that was then my responsibility as a as a good co parent to acknowledge it. A firstly with the kids and Again, vulnerability, we need to teach our kids that we’re, we’re infallible, we’re not, we’re not perfect, but we all make mistakes, but it’s also how we learn from them and move forward. So it’s about me only that and saying, suppose actually, I got that wrong, I shouldn’t have dealt with it that way, I apologise. And then also doing it with mum so that they could learn that actually, there’s a mutual respect there still, and a different form of compassion and love and care for one another. So again, in closing that conflict, but yesterday, it does happen all the time. Used to happen all the time.
Tamsin Caine 30:32
They learn, they learn, don’t know, and they’ve been in these situations for a little while. And as always, this time seems to seems to absolutely fly that we we spend together and want to make sure that you’ve each got got some a couple of minutes just to give us some some tips. I’m going to start with you, Susan. As you’re not last season, well what are your tips for for a good co-parenting relationship?
Susan Leigh 31:02
I think one of the things that we perhaps not mentioned is the role of grandparents, I think grandparents can be brought into the equation quite nicely for long as we understand them to remain neutral, as neutral as they can be any grievances if they feel morally towards the other. So is it because often when parents are worn settled a bit more heavily. It might be that on one side get sort of effectively pushed out the loop automatically, because I’m not involved anymore. So it is about wanting there to be on space, a wall for grandparents because certainly in a co-parenting situation after perhaps can provide stability in my financial time that tension. People in helping children to be consulted, secure my routines, make space for the grandparents in your life and allow them to, but at the same time realise that people support during post divorce the most difficult anyway,
Tamsin Caine 32:27
That’s that’s so true. And so incredibly important that I I can’t even tell you how vitally important my ex is. mum and stepdad have been in in our relationship, and they’ve been there in support, particularly my daughter, and they’ve been that, that bit of stability in her life. And she’s she’s learned on them on them pretty hard. And I certainly don’t think we could have come through it in the way that we have without them. So thank you so much.
Susan Leigh 33:00
Kids don’t want to upset more damage, when it’s hooking into bathrooms can be able to guide the family and know that love spending all the time cooking in a bedroom. Similar whatever. So they don’t necessarily want to add to the burden. So a grandparent can be softer voice and our vows that time and attention and Malvina
Tamsin Caine 33:30
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Right. But um, thank you, Susan. Katie, what about your tips?
Katherine Harding 33:37
I think one of my tips would be, and it relates a lot. What we’ve been saying today is don’t expect everything to immediately fall into place and get help where you need it. It’s not a failure to come and see someone like Tom or Susan, or to come and see a solicitor to ask for some guidance and some help, you’re not expected to know how to deal with everything from the off. It’s, it’s a brand new situation for you. It’s a brand new situation for your partner, and it is for the children as well, and everyone is trying to navigate it. And that is why we are all here in our various different differing professional capacities to assist parents as they need it. And it just shouldn’t be seen as a failure. If you can’t, you know, if you don’t get everything right the first time. I mean, what parent does even when parents are together is still gonna be wrong. It’s not going to be perfect. But you know, between us as professionals, we can certainly guide you in the right way to hopefully make things a little bit easier.
Tamsin Caine 34:38
But that’s an excellent point because they do think we sometimes put a mound of pressure on ourselves when we’re when we’re separated parents and tried to attempt to co-parenting we do forget that you know, quite often parenting is not that straightforward even when we live in the same home. So that’s a fantastic point. They Thank you, Casey. Last but not least, Tom, what are your, I think we could ask you for tips. And I think we might be here for several hours.
Tom Nash 35:11
I’ll just pick a handful of top couple, just some small, simple practical ones that people can start to think of. One of my favourite ones is about because the world that we live in these days, our world is technology driven firms, etc. Think about which tech is useful, but also what this could potentially be a hindrance is helpful and hindrance tech, okay, even down to the simple things of, especially when the acrimonious hiney emotions are high. Have you changed the name to something derogatory in your phone, I have had this several times, and no, whatever has happened every couple of weeks ago, a mom who have done working with and she changed the name in her phone, pardon my French, but she change it to that cheating bastard. And she drives a very modern technical car that speaks to you. And she’s on the school run. And the kids are in the back. And that simply taps disabled towards picking the kids up. And the car says that cheating bastard, I’ll pick the kids up at 5pm, or whatever it was. So really think about how your tech operates, right? Because it can drop you in it. Even things like cloud as well, anything you’ve got, share them. So that from a co-parenting perspective can be really useful. Think about how tech can be useful. One of the other ones, that’s a real nice, simple practical one. And it speaks to given what Susan I’m talking about mentioning that earlier in terms of like, there’s pickups and drop offs, those situations when someone doesn’t show things like that, for the benefit of the children, but also for you, as the parents deliver the children to the other parent, rather than you arriving to take them away, it can actually really lessen some of that anxiety for the child as much as the parents when you’re coming to arrive at the other house and take those children away. So if you can actually drop off and do the delivery, and actually it’s you’re delivering the children, they can go off in a much, much happier way and be delivered rather than taken away that can that can make a real difference for all of you. And on all my other favourite one that I always talk about, I miss I miss you. The kids know that they are going to miss them, they’re going to miss you too. But actually by you taking your emotion part again, what’s the business, the emotion, the business side of things, by telling them that you’re going to miss them as they’re going off to mums or dads, you’re taking you’re upset, fears, angst, whatever it is, that’s moving into guilt, and various other negative emotions for that child. Okay, there are different ways to let the children know that you’re going to miss them without having to put it into their context. So you can say to have a great time among dance. I’m looking forward to getting back on Tuesday, but I’ve got loads of work to do, I’m going out with seven. So they still didn’t think you’re so busy, they know that you’re going to be okay, they’re not going to be worrying about your parents. But he also still sending the message that you’re always thinking about them and you care without having to morph it into guilt for them.
Tamsin Caine 38:10
Absolutely. That is so so very important. And then the tips around that that you’ve given there are excellent because there is the disloyalty feeling as well isn’t that when if you feel that, you know you’re leaving one parent behind and and they’re gonna miss you and what are they going to do? And am I being disloyal by going to the other one and we’ve got to try and avoid those they’re imparting those feelings on our kids. Oh, wow, we could talk about this all day. And I will say this every episode. But we have run out of time a massive thank you to all my guests today. Thank you for listening. And we hope you can join us for our next episode. I hope you enjoy the episode of the smart boss podcast. If you would like to get in touch please have a look in the show notes for our details or go onto the website www dot smart divorce.co.uk. Also, if you are listening on Apple podcasts or on Spotify, and you wouldn’t mind leaving us a lovely five star review. That would be fantastic. I know that lots of our listeners are finding this is incredibly helpful in their journey through separation divorce and dissolving a civil partnership. Also, if you would like some foot further support, we do have Facebook group now. It’s called separation divorce and dissolution UK. Please do go on to Facebook, search up the group and we’d be delighted to have you join us. The one thing I would say is do please answer their membership questions. Okay, have a great day and take care
Transcribed by https://otter.ai