12 Tips to Co-parenting with your Ex-partner

12 Tips to Co-parenting with your Ex-partner

One of the harshest realities of separating from a partner when you have a child together is the likelihood that you’re going to have to find a way to keep working as a partnership.

Regardless of whether custody is split 50/50 or if the child is only seeing one parent every other weekend, it is vital for the health and well-being of the children that you and your ex are able to co-parent. This may seem impossible, but remember all the times you’ve said you’ll do anything for your child? Well, this is one of those times! It doesn’t mean you have to be mates with your ex and it certainly doesn’t mean it’ll be easy, but it is completely necessary.

  1. YOUR CHILDREN ARE YOUR FOCUS

Whenever it starts to feel as if communicating with and working with your ex is too much to be dealing with, remember why you’re doing it. Your children remain your absolute priority and the thing that’s going to get them through a separation is your love and your ability to discuss parenting calmly and rationally with your ex.

  1. SET UP A LINE OF COMMUNICATION

How you communicate with your ex will vary depending on your circumstances. There was a period when I was forced to require my ex to communicate with me only via a specific email address I had set up for the purpose. She was told I would check it once a day. This meant I was not inundated with unpleasant messages all hours of the day and could check in when I felt up to it. It may be that something similar works for you, but anything – be it email, text, phone or face-to-face – is fine as long as the rules are clearly outlined. A schedule may also be of help so as to stop the receipt of unwanted calls or messages.

  1. BE HONEST

As much as there may be lots of things you’re unwilling to discuss with your ex, when it comes to co-parenting you have to be honest. If notable things happen when your child is with you (such as erratic behaviour, or perhaps them making an admission about their feelings or worries) then you have to be able to tell your ex. Parenting becomes very hard when you’re not in possession of all the facts and making that job more difficult for your ex out of spite helps absolutely no-one.

  1. HAVE BOUNDARIES

At the same time, have boundaries. When it comes to your child you must accept and require honesty and transparency, but this does not give your ex license to drag up other issues or make unrelated accusations. This is especially important when one partner has a history of manipulation or abuse. Make it clear that you’ll exit the conversations if they deviate from the subject of parenting, and do just that if they do. If a fight starts brewing, just walk away and come back when you’ve both had time to calm down.

  1. BE CONSISTENT

Kids are generally at their most content when they know where they stand. If they’re able to get away with certain behaviours with one parent but not the other, that’s confusing for them. You and your ex need to agree to a set of behaviour expectations and have the strength to enforce them. If your ex fails to uphold this, then they’ll have to be challenged. It’s also possibly grounds for limiting access in the eyes of the courts. On that point…

  1. WRITE IT ALL DOWN

One you’ve agreed upon things like contact schedules and allotted email/phone arrangements, write them down so you both have a copy. This means that should your ex try to change anything, you have documented proof of what they had previously agreed to. This sort of thing is especially important should you end up in court.

  1. THINK ABOUT HOW YOU SAY THINGS

Barking orders and getting angry at your ex is far less likely to achieve anything than calmly explaining your thoughts and requesting their cooperation. Positive behaviour is far more likely to occur if it’s reciprocated, too. As negative as your feelings may or may not be toward your ex, treat them with respect – even if it’s feigned – and you’re more likely to get the same in return.

  1. DON’T INTERFERE ON YOUR EX’S TIME

Try as hard as you can not to interfere when your children are with your ex. This is something I really struggled with at first, as I had legitimate concerns about what my daughter was being exposed to. But ultimately you have to accept that your children will have a relationship with your ex and that relationship will be largely independent of you. If you’re worried about negative influences then all you can do (providing your are certain of your child’s safety) is ensure that you’re teaching them what’s right when they’re with you and giving them the strength they need to cope.

  1. DO NOT BAD MOUTH YOUR EX

Regardless of what you may be feeling, do not criticise your ex to your children. They do not need to hear it. Over time your children will form their own opinions of both of you, and the parent who offered unconditional love, understanding and decency can expect fare best in that situation.

10. EXTENDED FAMILY ACCESS

One of the logistical concerns about co-parenting is the widening of the family net, especially when new partners are introduced. Children can end up with as many as eight grandparents and who knows how many aunties and uncles, and it’s only fair that everyone gets the chance to be involved in the child’s life.

11. IT’S NOT A COMPETITION AND YOU DON’T WIN BY BEING THE ‘FUN’ PARENT

The urge to ensure that the time your kids spend with you is somehow ‘better’ than the time they spend with your ex is often very powerful, but do try to resist it. Don’t be sad if your kids have a good time with your ex – be happy. It’s a good thing. And if you do feel bad about it, the best thing you can do is to make sure they also have a good time with you. No-one wins in the race to be the ‘fun’ parent, however. Fun and discipline need to be a part of both families, and no-one should be allowed to permit guilt to eradicate responsibility. Again, children need to understand boundaries and know where they stand.

12. ACCEPT THAT YOU CANNOT CHANGE YOUR EX

It may well be the case that your ex will have some sort of negative impact on your kids. But the truth is that it’s unlikely you’re perfect, either. All people are a mix of good and bad and parents are no different. A vital lesson I learned was that I could not change my ex and I couldn’t stop her doing things that I personally felt she shouldn’t be doing around my daughter. It may well be the case that her mum feels the same. But all I can control is how I behave around her, and if I do my job correctly then my girl should be well equipped to deal with whatever challenges come her way, be that from her mother or anyone else.

Source BLB Solicitors

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A Cry for Help

A Cry for Help

When you are a celebrity are you not classified as a normal human being? Just because you have mastered your art form and have managed to make allot of money from it you somehow don’t have feelings or can have problems?

So, I have been following Ant McPartlin for awhile as I can see how the industry, media and life can take its toll on you over a period of time. Whatever is happening in Ants life we will never really know what it is, only his close friends and family will really know what he is going through. I do not in any way condone what he did driving while drunk/intoxicated but it is clearly a sign of his mental health deterioration. This blog is not only about him but about all celebrities who are going through pressure and stress that sometimes cannot be hidden.

Unfortunately, Ant has been the latest celeb that has been caught in the public eye but what pisses me off is how people are treating him. Yes, we all make mistakes and because he is a celebrity his is not allowed to make any?? Get a grip keyboard warriors as you disgust me, you have nothing better to do than troll people and write disgusting hurtful comments about them. Why do you do this? It’s quite simple you troll because you are lonely and have nothing better to do with your time!

Ant McPartlin is clearly going through allot and I am disappointed with his management, to be honest. Why, as they are his professional minders and should be taking better care of him. Yep, I went there why because I have seen this happen so many times with celebrities. They get used and abused by there management, pr teams and anyone else that can make money off them but who is actually helping and looking them?

I think it should be compulsory for all artist management teams worldwide to employ counsellors and a welfare officer. These are the people that will spend regular time with the artists working under strict privacy policy contracts to maintain the artists/celebs welfare and intervene when necessary. When that celeb signs to that management company there should be a clause outlining what power the welfare officer has and what they will do if they believe you are a risk to yourself or others and take appropriate action.

Will this happen, probably not as most management companies are more interested in their money as opposed to the celebs welfare. They will only be concerned to a certain extent but if they think you are becoming a problem they seem to move their attention elsewhere. I can’t speak for all management companies but this is the case for most, we all need to start treating all celebs like human beings and with the same level of respect.

We don’t know every celebs past, just because they are on TV/Movies or in the media do we know everything about there past. Exactly, we will never know only dribs and drabs will be filtered through to the media by someone trying to make a quick buck off them.

So, my message to you Ant McPartlin, I don’t know you or your family but I have seen certain information in the media. I can clearly see you have allot going on in your life right now, just because I see you on tv smiling and having a laugh will not show a true reflection of you. My advice to you would take some time off/out of business, speak to a professional and get the help you need. There is no rush to get back to work and you can take some time out for yourself. Surround yourself with people that care about you and that are not just concerned about how much money you can make them!

You only get one life and don’t spend it trying to please other people when you are not happy within yourself. Take a break gather your thoughts and don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are allot more people that care about you than you think. I wish you a speedy recovery and good health.

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Missing My Babies (Poem)

Missing My Babies (Poem)

When you were first born, I was so excited
To see your little face I was so delighted,
I held you in my arms and promised to keep you safe,
I knew in my world I would make you first place

When I first picked you up it brought a tear to my eye,
Deep inside I cried and cried
The joy I had bringing you into this world
I have never felt so proud and some much reward

I watched you grow day by day
When you said you first dada
I just melted I can honestly say
I knew the love I had would never fade away

I went to work and could not wait to get home
To hear the pitta patta of your tiny feet shouting daddy at the door
No matter what day I had I know I loved you more
You brought a smile to my face to which I could not ignore

I knew then what it meant to be a parent
That feeling of love and overwhelment
I have never loved anyone or anything like I have loved you
So this is my poem to let you know, I will never forget you

You might not be here with me now
But you will always be in my heart and memories
One day I hope I can just be a father without the fight
I love you, my babies, as I say goodnight

A part-time father is what we will only ever be
They took away my ideal of being a family can’t you see
The stress and emptiness is a daily occurrence
But they don’t care as long as there is no interference

I will never stop loving you and just wanted you to know
Sometimes it’s just easier in a poem I hope to show
You are and will always be part of me
As when we are together you bring out the best of me

Written by Mark Sheppard (in loving memory of his beautiful babies)

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Fathers in Court, Why?

Fathers in Court, Why?

So, the questions fathers get asked allot is why do we spend so much time in court? Unfortunately, if you have had a divorce or a breakup even though as a father we have equal parental rights. The courts and the system do not agree with it and the only way a father can seem to see his kids is if he takes his ex-partner to court. We have to pay all the fees, including the maintenance for our children even when they are deliberately being withheld from the father.

As a father being there for your child, being on the birth certificate and everything else we do for our children means nothing in the eyes of the law. Women to this day are still allowed to disappear with your child and use your child as a weapon with no consequences for there actions. Is this fair, of course, it is not but until the law sees this and fathers start fighting back nothing will ever change.

Women are breaking human rights laws by doing this but as no one has challenged it in court nothing has even been done about it. There is a piece of legislation that every human being is protected by in the UK, I would like to say worldwide but it would probably be a lie. It is Article 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998. Under Article 8 protects your right to respect for private and family life, your home and correspondence.

Based on the Article 8, why are so many women breaching this daily and hiding behind government agencies who are assisting in these breaches? It’s because no one has challenged it, most fathers are so tired and stressed they don’t have the fight in them to fight in court. Maybe other man just settle for the fact they will never see their children again and just walk away.

I will never walk away from my children and I don’t think you should either, united we are a lot stronger and divided we will fall. So, don’t settle for anything less than your child and you being in their lives no one can or should take away that basic human right of yours.

Fathers should be allowed to enjoy their kids like the mothers do and not spend his life in court fighting for his basic rights.

 

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Why do less men want to get married?

Why do less men want to get married?

When I was young marriage was something you aspired to do with finding someone you can share your life with and grow old with. Over the last decade, it has become a circus for us men, where no matter what we do we will always lose out. The media is constantly printing how much a woman gets from there ex-husbands during a divorce or breakup. This is sending the wrong signals and impressions on marriage.

Men are scared to commit nowadays because if they are successful and get married they can potentially lose it all. This is not the main factor but one of many including they the loss of their children and home in the process. No one goes into marriage thinking about what if we get divorced but men do now as that never used to be the case. Men have become more cautious and demanding that the women they marry sign prenuptial to try to protect themselves. Unfortunately, this can only protect you so far because as soon as you have children that agreement because quite flaky within divorce courts.

I have seen some big high profile divorce court cases recently and these millionaires have lost nearly everything including half of there overall fortune. Baring in mind how long it took them to build it but all it takes is a divorce to wipe half the value of your fortune off you. I have seen that in the UK and not sure what it is like in every other country but I am sure it is similar. When it comes to marriage there are no equal opportunities at all and never will be, unfortunately.

Based on that fact this is why there is a major decline in marriages in the UK and it continues to decline. Did you know in parts of Europe there is a rumour apparently that it is easy to find a rich man in the UK to live off and have kids with! Yep, you heard it right and it’s not only Europe but other parts of the world. This is because allot of the women are pretty but also poor so they need to find a way to not only support themselves but also their families. The UK and US are the prime targets for these women who use online dating as there playground to entice men with money or who will potentially come into money.

I myself have fallen for it and quite a few men I know, there only priority is money and kids as they know that the will be supported by UK law even if they are not from the UK. The sad thing about it is that the UK law supports them and even though us men have lived here all of our lives it means nothing. So, your thinking I am with someone and I really like them should I get married to them. Well, only you can decide that as it is very hard to judge a person’s characteristics nowadays.

All I would say is look for some tell tell signs, do they have a good career? What is there background and family like? What are there friends like? Are they very money orientated? Do they pressure you into having a family shortly of meeting them? Are they secretive about there past? These are just a few examples to think about before you dive into marriage and a family. Just because they are pretty does not mean they are a good person and the same goes for the sex. Don’t get caught up with the physical side of the relationship and base your actions upon that either.

It is very sad as a man we have to be so guarded now about who we meet and what we do with them. If you get caught out like I did it will be life-changing for the wrong reasons, you have been warned. This should also not put you off either as there are some really lovely genuine women out there, unfortunately, they are very hard to find!

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When will fathers be allowed to be a father?

When will fathers be allowed to be a father?

Guys, have you not noticed how much negativity there is being a father? If not then you need to start paying attention just because you feel like you’re in a good relationship now does not necessarily mean it will be forever. Men are really bad at multi-tasking when we have a family that seems to be our only focus to make money and look after it. You would think that should be the only thing we have to think about really when you have your own family. Wrong!

I was speaking to some good female friends who stated that every woman when they get into a relationship has a plan b should all fail. The woman wants to know that the man she is with can look after the family financially. I know right, clearly money and status seem to be more important than a loving relationship. So why do we men continue to fall for this? The main reason is we always think that a certain situation will never happen to us.

When we go to work to look after our families we think that our partner at home is doing the wife thing. We don’t expect due to the long hours we work that they could be looking for someone online to build a connection with due to the lack of attention you can physically provide due to your hours and work. I am not saying that every woman does this but a large portion do and most of there social media accounts will prove this.

The sad thing is we seem to allow these women to do it without challenging their behaviour. Women are all empowered recently to challenge a man’s behaviour, so why are we not challenging there’s? It angers me personally that these good fathers are out there working hard to provide for there families. Yet, their partner spends so much time taking selfies with the baby and posting it online like she is a single mother. You might if your lucky catch the one odd photo of the partner somewhere but not really anything to indicate they are in a relationship or married. Have you as a man ever thought that about your partner? Have you challenged the behaviour or have you put it down too that’s just how she is?

Unfortunately, this is probably part of her plan b, to give that impression should all else fail with you she has been able to market herself as a single mother! Yet, she will moan on social media as to why all these men are contacting knowing she is in a relationship or married! Remember these men on the prowl don’t know these women so they look at there social media to make a judgement if they are single or not etc. So men wake up and start taking charge of your family and situation and because you work hard and think you are in love that everything will always be ok.

The media and social media continue to bash men/dads on a daily basis and never really shows anything positive about us. We are not allowed to share a bed with our kids as we will be branded a paedophile, we can’t show affection to our kids because we will be branded a paedophile. This sickens me to my stomach every time I read an article in the media or social media about a father trying to be a father but being branded a paedophile.

We are creating broken families, where our kids don’t know what love is and how to show affection. Why because we as fathers are not allowed to show it and if we do we are branded a paedophile, so we don’t do it as it makes us uncomfortable. Social media and the media are creating an impossible job for us fathers and we need to voice our concerns instead of just sitting down and taking in all of this negativity!

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