Foreword: The High Conflict Co Parenting Survival Guide
By Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq.
The High Conflict Co-Parenting Survival Guide By Megan Hunter and Andrea LaRochelle
When I started reading The High-Conflict Co-Parenting Survival Guide, I was reminded of a study of parenting skills that was done several years ago on what makes a good parent.* After studying hundreds of practices and thousands of parents, two psychologists came up with the top three most important parenting skills:
• Love and affection for your child.
• Ability to manage your own stress.
• Demonstrating healthy relationship skills with your co-parent and other adults.
These results blew everyone away, because they weren’t about managing children’s behavior, which turned out to be much less important than these top three. Yet these make sense, because children learn more from your example than what you tell them to do. In other words, you can be strict, permissive or make a lot of mis- takes, and still be a good parent by demonstrating these three skills. And aiming for these skills is especially important when parents have been in a lot of conflict, such as after a separation or divorce.
That’s where this handy guide comes in. It focuses on what you can do to manage your own stress and do your part in demonstrating health relationship skills with your co-parent—even with a high-conflict co-parent. Week after week, Andrea and Megan give useful information combined with soothing and upbeat messages of encouragement.
Their weekly tips will help you stay calm (and regain your calm), so that you are emotionally available for your child and also showing your child how to cope—by your own success at managing your stress. Their weekly tips will also help you stay (or regain) the positive side while reasonably communicating, making decisions and resolving conflicts with other adults in your life.
Just showing your child how well you are surviving this co-parenting business will put them on a good path for life. As the subtitle says, you can Reclaim Your Life One Week at a Time.
* Robert Epstein, “What Makes a Good Parent?” Scientific American Mind, November/December 2010.
Bill Eddy is the developer of the New Ways for Families® method and the author of several books, including Don’t Alienate the Kids: Raising Resilient Children While Avoiding High-Conflict Divorce.