One of the most common laments we hear from progressive judges and co-parenting educators is that so many parents come into their divorce and paternity cases with years of education in exactly the wrong ways to address their co-parenting challenges. The popular culture, misinformed family and friends, and a poor understanding of the proper use of the legal system can lead legions of parents into believing that continued conflict is the preferred route to good outcomes when raising children between separate homes.
I fully endorse these Commitments for use with all divorcing parents.
Too often, the message to divorcing parents is that they should simply refrain
from badmouthing the other parent. These Commitments communicate that parents have
a responsibility to actively support and nurture the child’s relationship with the other parent—
and they stimulate parents to consider numerous ways to do so for their children. Bravo.
Janet R. Johnston, Ph.D., author of In the Name of the Child; Impasses of Divorce;
and Through the Eyes of Children
And that may be the chief reason that perhaps most parents in these difficult cases need more than a single exposure to (1) a better appreciation of their children’s needs and (2) ways in which responding to those child needs are actually parents’ best light forward for themselves.
Several co-parenting instructors have found the free UpToParents.org website a uniquely powerful tool in responding to this challenge. As a co-parenting educators, you can help your attendees to arrive with a greater appreciation of the importance of your messages by having them do this website work beforehand. And without changing anything about your class itself.
Without question, the single most important thing parents can do to prepare
for our divorce adjustment classes is to complete UpToParents.org. We’d never again
write or teach a co-parenting class without this as a required component.
Michael Sheehan, Ph.D., Child Advocates in Divorce (CAID)
Co-parenting educators are also welcome to play at their classes videos from the “Parents Corner” link. Two of the most popular are 3 Girls' Invisible Pain and Bonnie and Ross.
UpToParents is the Google© of online education for separated parents.
It’s by far the best, it’s universally available, and it’s free. It sets the focus squarely
on children and their needs. It’s truly ingenious and transforming.
Ann M. Schelle, MS, LPC, National Coordinator and Trainer of
TransParenting (live co-parenting classes in over 150 locations)
You may wish to speak with your family judges to see about making this website work required preparation for your classes. See Courts’ Use of UpToParents.org. And see the attached sample notice you can use yourself.
A sample of the completed website work is also attached. Additional information is available on the Three-Minute Video Introduction for Co-Parenting Educators, on the “Articles and Videos" link of UpToParents.org, or by contacting the Freedom 22 Foundation at 317-755-1265.
Sample Co-Parenting Educator Notice about UpToParents.org
Here's an important head start for your upcoming "Parenting As Partners" class.
Do an excellent job on the free UpToParents.org website. You may choose either the English or Spanish version. Once you finish, print out your completed work (including the Commitments you chose and your Exercise Responses) from the Conclusion Page and bring it to your class.
This website work will give you a peek into some of what we will be covering in your class.
If you don't have Internet access, you can use the computer of a friend, neighbor, family member, or branch of the public library.
Get started early, as an excellent job on the website can take a few hours. You can log on and off as many times as you wish.
And remember to bring your finished work with you to your class.
We look forward to seeing you and sharing about better ways for families to move forward.