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« on: January 04, 2011, 11:14:41 PM »

Co-parenting: Doing what’s best for the kids  

And this is not always easy.

One challenge many of us face is to switch from being gladiators in family court to the warm and cooperative loving co-parents our children need to grow up healthy. And while the family courts teach us to fight, no one teaches us to put down the swords and co-operate.  Many of us (and our exs) don't know how to make this transition or how to support a new partner in this situation. Hopefully, we can work together here, to do just that.

For members who are in an active relationship with a BPD partner and raising kids together, many of the resources here will be equally helpful. Whether our kids live in one home or two, effective parenting is important when one parent has BPD. Anyone undecided about staying or leaving for the kids can read PERSPECTIVES: Is it better for the kids if I stay or leave?

WHO: This board is primarily for members who are co-parenting or step-coparenting ("secondary nons" with someone who has traits of Borderline Personality Disorder or Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

WHAT: If you have recently ended a relationship with a BPD co-parent, we highly recommend parallel-parenting for the first year with the goal of transitioning into a co-parenting relationship.

  • Cooperative parenting is the style used by families in which conflict is low and parents can effectively communicate about their child.


  • Parallel parenting is the style used by families in which conflict is high or communication is poor. The first step of parallel parenting is disengagement. This means that you will not communicate about minor things regarding your child, try to influence the other parents parenting style, or deviate from the visitation schedule. [more information]



HOW: Our goal is to provide you with the tools and knowledge to begin to make some changes in the only thing you can control - yourself.  The approach involves six lessons:

1) Understanding the BPD Parent [more information]

2) The Role We Play in Reducing the Conflict  [more information]

3) Common Co-parenting Issues and Implementing Effective Skills   [more information]

4) Finding Peace in a Difficult Situation [more information]

5) Raising Resilient Kids When a Parent Has BPD [more information]

6) Dealing with Parental Alienation  [more information]

Whether you are in an active relationship, divorced, or the significant other of someone who must share parenting, it is a truly challenging situation to co-parent with someone who suffers from BPD. These lessons are designed to assist you in finding ways to focus on doing what’s best for the kids, and navigating the challenging issues that accompany these relationships.

Welcome!

livednlearned

Additional Reading Material [reading list information]
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« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2011, 11:14:41 PM »

Lesson 1: Understanding the BPD Parent  

Objective: Raising a child when one parent has BPD creates feelings of uneasiness and uncertainty where you never know when a situation will go suddenly and horribly wrong. Perhaps that feeling of dread is a constant part of your life, whether you are the biological parent, "secondary non” who has become a significant other, or step-parent in a very challenging relationship dynamic. Our goal is to help you understand the behaviors of the BPD parent and learn what fuels the conflict.

Directions: Read through the following workshops we have developed, which discuss the symptoms and manifestations through real life stories and examples.  You may recognize your life in the stories and tales of others.

BPD behavior - Poor executive control

Poor executive control is a core characteristic of BPD. Executive functions and cognitive control are terms used by psychologists and neuroscientists to describe a loosely defined collection of brain processes whose role is to guide thought and behavior in accordance with a person's goals or plans. Read more.

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=79702.0

BPD Behaviors: Understanding the BPD mind. What's in the head of someone with BPD?

Although it may seem that a pwBPD's behaviors are irrational, there are underlying reasons behind their actions. The pwBPD may not be reacting to the situation at hand, such as what is happening at the current time, but to either something that had happened in the past, or to a kind of ready-reference list of beliefs about the world (schemas), which was usually learned in childhood.  Read more.

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=67059.0

BPD Behaviors: Objectifying others

We all know neediness is common with BPD... .Distrust of others' motives (especially if the person with BPD was sexually abused) lends a coloring to all personal interactions: fear is a self-centered emotion, a defense mechanism. Neediness and fear are all about what is happening to the pwBPD, and they leave little room for empathy or even awareness of anyone else's needs. Read more.

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=87006.0

BPD Behaviors: Emotional immaturity

Immature people often demand immediate gratification. They cannot wait, are impulsive, may seem thoughtless, and may appear loyal only while you are useful. Their emotional impulsiveness (lack of executive control) results in chaotic social and financial lives. Read more.

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=60935.0

Borderline Personality Disorder: A Clinical Perspective

People with BPD often have an unstable sense of who they are. That is, their self-image or sense of self often rapidly changes. They typically view themselves as evil or bad, and sometimes they may feel as if they don't exist at all.  An unstable sense of self can affect the dynamics of a relationship, which typically results in turmoil.  People with BPD often experience a love-hate relationship with others. They may idealize someone one moment and then abruptly and dramatically shift to fury and hate over perceived slights or simple misunderstandings. Read more.

https://bpdfamily.com/tools/articles3.htm

How a Mother with Borderline Personality Disorder Affects Her Children

Children of mothers with BPD show a significantly higher prevalence of "disorganized" attachment than children of mothers without BPD. Disorganized children face stress management problems, frequently engage in externalizing behaviors, and may even face dissociative behaviors later in life. Evidence suggest that, even in middle childhood, children of mothers with BPD may display problems with interpersonal relatedness and affective regulation. Read more.

https://bpdfamily.com/tools/articles8.htm

POLL: Children of Mothers with BPD

Characteristic symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder are likely to hinder the ability of a mother with BPD to parent effectively, thereby negatively affecting the social and emotional development of the child. For instance, adults with BPD typically display a pattern of unstable relationships and a host of interpersonal problems. They generally show a disorganized way of dealing with interpersonal stress and frequently fluctuate between extreme idealization and devaluation of others. It is suggested that the mother-child relationship is not protected from these interpersonal problems. Read more.

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=55900.0

BPD Behaviors: Problematic Parenting

BPD parents often engage in subtle behaviors that may not be overtly neglectful or abusive towards the children, but they can inhibit healthy development in children. There are forms of damaging parenting, and people who share children with a disordered spouse need to be aware of these other forms of difficult or problematic parenting, and how their children might be affected. Though we talk about "moms", please be aware that BPD/NPD dads do many of these same things.

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=65426.0

WORKSHOP: When are the children of a BPD parent at risk?  How can you tell?  What can you do?

Many parents and grandparents come to bpdfamily.com and are concerned about the interactions between the BPD sufferer in their life and the children. BPD patterns can lead to problematic parenting in several ways. For instance, a BPD sufferer is prone to black and white thinking and “splitting,” which can lead a parent to see a child as “bad” and thus deserving of punishment. A BPD parent's ways of coping can become a source of neglect (abusive or addictive behaviors distract the parent, leaving the child untended) or abuse (with impulsive behaviors and rages resulting in emotional and physical scars). Understanding when and how to intervene is important for the well-being of the kids. Read more.

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=97979.0

BOOKS:

Book Review: Understanding the Borderline Mother

Dr. Christine Ann Lawson vividly describes how mothers who suffer from borderline personality disorder can produce children who may flounder in life even as adults, futilely struggling to reach the safety of a parental harbor, unable to recognize that their borderline parent lacks a pier, or even a discernible shore. This book has been described by some members as being relatively academic with many footnotes, but it is considered one of the most well-researched when it comes to describing how an untreated BPD mother can impact healthy development of her children.

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=53779.0

Questions:

* Do you recognize these symptoms in your child's BPD parent?

* How have any of these symptoms impacted you, or your ability to effectively parent your child/ren?

* Do you feel empowered knowing that there is an explanation for the behaviors of the BPD parent?
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« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2011, 11:14:41 PM »

Lesson 2: The Role We Play in Reducing the Conflict  

Objective: To regain control over what we have power over - ourselves. Much of what happens in our lives is outside of our control. Struggling against this or allowing the winds of fate to toss us around only ensures more pain and suffering for us. It is through acceptance and understanding that we will find the strength to grow and heal and become strong and independent.

Sadly, when we find a label to explain the chaos of our lives, it is very tempting to shift into a victim mode and use the mental illness to blame all the problems on. The harder thing to do is to come to accept that this other person is mentally ill, and that we can only control ourselves in this dysfunctional dance. If you are the other parent, you may have accepted abuse and poor treatment during the relationship, and you didn't take care of yourself as a mentally healthy person would. You may have some serious co-dependency issues that need to be addressed. If you are a significant other of someone who must co-parent with a BPD sufferer, you may find yourself drawn into the conflict, developing stressful or codependent responses that create resentment and anger.

Directions: Read through the following workshops we've developed discussing the symptoms and manifestations, with real life stories and examples to help you gain valuable knowledge. You will recognize your life in the stories and tales of others.

Before You Can Make Things Better, You Have to Stop Making Things Worse

Do you see how being nasty, invalidating, or critical of your co-parent, no matter what he or she just did, will only make your arrangement worse? Most of us know that it is not effective to be nasty. But hurting the other parent is hurting the child, and continuing the unending agony of reciprocal retribution. Learn how to identify typical triggers and develop healthy alternatives. Read more.

https://bpdfamily.com/pdfs/fruzzetti_cp.pdf

POLL: Which one of these best describes your co-parenting relationship?

Tell us about your co-parenting relationship - what are the terms of your CO (or TO), what % time (and type of schedule) do you have with the children, what are the most significant problems facing you, do you use any specific tools (e.g. communications techniques/SET, disarming techniques,  parallel parenting), and how do you do exchanges and communicate with the "other side"?Read more.

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=90426.0

TEST: What's your conflict style?

Peter Neidig, a psychologist who studied spousal abuse and developed an inyeresting system for identifying conflict styles. There are 4 styles that fall on two scales: relationship goals and personal goals. What is your style? How is it affecting the cycle of conflict in your life?

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=117339.0

Tools - Radical acceptance

Radical acceptance was developed by Marsha Linehan, PhD.  from the University of Washington and is based on the ancient Zen philosophy that each moment is complete by itself, and that the world is perfect as it is. Zen focuses on acceptance, validation, and tolerance instead of making the world change. Mindfulness is “allowing” experiences rather than suppressing or avoiding them. It is the intentional process of observing, describing, and participating in reality non-judgmentally, in the moment, and with effectiveness. Read more.

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=89910.0

US: Are we the victims here?

Our child’s parent is mentally ill. Does that mean that everything bad is the other parent's fault? Does all the blame belong to them? Are we the innocent victims here? What responsibility do we have in the dysfunctional dance? Read more.

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=114232.0

US: Forgiveness

It would be nice if forgiveness just happened on its own. We can just give it some time. But usually some intervention must take place. In other words, we must work on it, similar to tending a garden. The process begins with a desire to forgive. Many factors may motivate this desire—none of them natural. Our natural inclination is to stay angry and hold a grudge. But eventually either misery gets the best of us and/or a deeply held belief system shakes loose the anger and gives way to a desire to forgive.  Read more.  

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=58084.0

Questions:

* Do you see your role in the cycle of conflict?

* How does holding onto anger and pain affect you? How does it affect your kids?

* Do you believe you have the power to release your anger and disappointment in the other parent for your own peace of mind?
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« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2011, 11:14:41 PM »

Lesson 3: Common co-parenting issues and implementing effective skills 
 
Objective: To understand the hard realities of shared parenting and learn healthy communication techniques. If you are the stable parent dealing with high levels of conflict, you need to find compromises, tools, and attitudes to bring about the greatest stability to children living in separate households. In many cases the other parent is dysfunctional and not going to change. How do we best manage what we have to work with: with the BPD parent, with the family court, with our families? There is a formula for speaking with someone that has a better chance of success if used properly. Our attitude, tone of voice, and body language has a huge impact on how our message is interpreted.
 
While dealing with a BPD co-parent or ex-spouse may be something we all have in common, not all BPD biological parents suffer from the same degree of severity. Depending on the context we find ourselves in, some of us may need to rely on different communication tactics and techniques, and tailor those to our specific situations so that we can minimize the conflict and restore a degree of peace in our lives.
 
Directions: Read through the following workshops we've developed discussing the symptoms and manifestations, with real life stories and examples to help you gain valuable knowledge.
 
Perspectives: Shared Parenting:
Shared parenting after divorce can be difficult under the best of circumstances.  Shared parenting with someone with a mood disorder or after a high conflict divorce can be personally draining and very hard on the children. The purpose of this workshop is to discuss the hard realities of shared parenting -  the compromises, the tools, and the attitude necessary to bring about the greatest stability to the children and the separate households and how to best approach it. In many cases the other parent is dysfunctional and not going to change - how do we best manage what we have to work with - with the people, with the family court, with our families. Read more.
https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=67574.0#top
 
TOOLS: Things to cover in a parenting plan
Parenting plans are important tools when co-parenting with a BPD parent.
https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=90775.0
 
Communication: Overview
Many of us have experienced great frustrations when trying to communicate while co-parenting with a BPD parent.  It's been long established that individuals with BPD can become so consumed by their own emotions/self interests that communications become challenged, confused, and interpreted in the worst way. A pwBPD has to have trust reinforced and fears of inadequacy soothed before they can listen or hear. The non-BP validates that the feeling are real feelings (not that they justified). The non-BP then shifts the discussion on what the real issue is and what can be done about it. These tools put a lot of responsibility of the non-BP to bridge the communication/emotional inadequacy.  The assumption is that that non-BP is the emotional caretaker in these situations. Read more.
https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=69272.0
 
Communication: S.E.T. Technique
The S.E.T. communication pattern was developed by Jerold J. Kreisman, MD and Hal Straus for communication with a person with BPD (pwBPD). It consists of a 3 step sequence where first Support is signaled, then Empathy is demonstrated and in a third step Truth is offered. Few tools are easier to learn as S.E.T. and are as effective in getting across to a pwBPD. This is an important skill to master when co-parenting with a pwBPD. Read more.
https://bpdfamily.com/content/ending-conflict
 
How to "ex" communicate:
Tension between parents, whether together or divorced, creates anxiety for the children as well as the parents. To significantly reduce or entirely eliminate the anxiety for all of the family the parents should follow two simple rules for the first two years, in order to control the communication and contact between the parents. Number one: Eliminate all face-to-face communication between the parents (including telephone contact), for a minimum of two years. Number two: All communication should be done in writing, using a memo format to communicate. Read more.
https://bpdfamily.com/pdfs/stacer.pdf
 
Dealing with Hostile Communication After the Divorce
During divorce and beyond, hostile emails are common. Bill Eddy and Randi Kreger, authors of the book "Splitting," came up with something called the B.I.F.F. method for responding to them. Blamers love sending these hostile messages and use them to attack you, your family and friends, and professionals. It’s extremely tempting to respond the same way. Hostile e-mail has also become huge in family court, as a document used to show someone’s bad behavior. While you are encouraged to save copies of hostile e-mail sent to you, it is very important that you not send hostile e-mails to anyone. They will be used against you. Read more.
https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=133835.0
 
POLL: High-Conflict Intervention Program
In a break-up or divorce with children, there may often be high emotion and tension between the parents. This tension creates anxiety for the children as well as the parents. The children sense their parent’s anxiety in their voice, their body language and in their parent’s behavior. To significantly reduce or entirely eliminate the anxiety the parents should follow two simple rules for the first two years, in order to control the communication and contact between the parents. The rules are as follows: 1) Eliminate all face-to-face communication between the parents (including telephone contact), for a minimum of two years. 2) All communication should be done in writing, using a memo format to communicate. Read more.
https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=56224.0
 
Fair Fighting Rules
When it comes to dealing with the children, it pays to learn the Fair Fighting Rules: Focus on solving a problem/reaching a solution rather than venting your anger or winning a victory. Deal with one issue at a time. No fair piling several complaints into one session. Stay focused on the present. Bringing up the past isn't fair. State the problem clearly - think through what your complaint is, make sure you have all the facts. Avoid blaming the other parent. Read more.
https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=164901.0
 
Questions:
 
* Are you wiling to practice new ideas?
 
* Have you used any of these techniques? Have they had an effect?
 
* Did you know that over 85% of our message comes from our body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice?
 
* Are you willing to try these communication techniques on others first before trying them on the BPD parent in your life?
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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2011, 11:14:41 PM »

Lesson 4: Finding Peace in a Difficult Situation  

Objective: To learn how to find peace for ourselves when dealing with someone who suffers from BPD. Understanding what BPD is, how it affects the disordered person in your life is one piece of the puzzle. The other pieces of the puzzle include the necessary step of defining what you value and then enforcing boundaries to protect those values. Values are critical to our peace of mind so that when we find ourselves standing in the cross-section of high-conflict and feeling uncertain about what to do, we can let our values determine our course of action. Boundaries are also critically important so we have tools to keep us safe and minimize the time we spend in unnecessary drama.

Directions: Read through the following workshops we've developed discussing the symptoms and manifestations, with real life stories and examples to help you gain valuable knowledge.

WORKSHOP: Boundaries: Living our Values

Independent core values determine our decisions and guide our lives. Boundaries are how we define our values to others. A boundary is nothing more than the outer perimeters of our independent core values -  it's like a fence  - anything inside the boundary is consistent with our core values and anything outside the boundary is not. Even when we live our values responsibly, we can still encounter boundary busting. Read more.

https://bpdfamily.com/content/values-and-boundaries

Examples of boundaries

This thread talks about examples of our values, our boundaries, and how to defend those boundaries.

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=167368

BPD Behaviors: Extinction Burst and Intermittent Reinforcement

What does extinction burst mean and why should I care about this stuff?  Because when you try to implement boundaries you will most likely see an increase in bad behavior because the BPD sufferer isn't getting the response they expect. They become confused and frustrated. You've changed the rules by not giving your typical response. They will increase their bad behavior to try to get the response they are used to.   If we are prepared going in ahead of time... .see how:

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=85479.0

TOOLS: Triggering and Mindfulness and Wisemind

Mindfulness is a type of self-awareness in which we learn to observe ourselves in real time to see and alter our reactions to be more constructive. Wise Mind is that place where reasonable mind and emotion mind overlap.  It is the integration of emotion mind and reasonable/logical mind. There are several ways that mindfulness can help reduce the intensity, duration, and frequency of unhelpful habitual response patterns. Read more.

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=64749.0

TOOLS: US: Do not allow others to 'rent space' in your 'head'

Many of us have been habitually "renting out" the precious space in our minds to totally undeserving, and sometimes quite malicious, people for many years. So long, in fact, that it can actually be very tough to simply "turn off" this type of ultra-self-defeating behavior after all this time and practice. This gives others a considerable amount of emotional power and control over us. Don't let them rent space in your head! Read more.

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=74749.0

POLL: Co-parenting vs. Conflictual Co-parenting: Why Be Bitter When You Can Be Better?

One of the keys to understanding what needs to happen in these cases is that it only takes one parent to end the conflict and it only takes one parent to save the children from being permanently scarred by the fight. It is a waste of time to think the parents can "learn to get along" with each other, because if they could have done so, they would have already do it without a court order to "learn to coparent." Read more.

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=90742.0

POLL: Ten Forms of Twisted Thinking

We often mislead ourselves with all-or-nothing thinking, overgeneralizing, magnification, jumping to conclusions, labeling, and "should" statements, among other types of twisted thinking. Read more.

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=56199.0

Success Stories

We could use some examples and may run a workshop on this

There are stories here that would count as successes. We want to celebrate them and build upon them, so that others can gain inspiration that it "is" possible to make things better.

Questions:

* If you tried to set boundaries, but never kept them, do you think you started too big or with too many? What went wrong?

* Do you now understand intermittent reinforcement and can you think of ways to stop doing it?

* Do you see how some of your responses to the BPD parent can contribute to, or minimize cycles of conflict?

* Can you describe a time when you believe the BPD parent showed an extinction burst?

* What did they do and how did you respond?

* Would you respond differently now that you understand what is happening?
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« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2011, 11:14:41 PM »

Lesson 5: Raising Resilient Kids When a Parent Has BPD  

Objective: To learn what we can about raising resilient kids and understand what techniques can minimize the negative impact of a high-conflict divorce. Understanding what it means to be emotionally resilient can impact the kids in powerful ways, but it can also have a positive impact on us too, whether we are the co-parent or step-parent. Often, the "non" BPD parent believes that our parenting is better than the BPD parent, which is often true. However, we can also perpetuate problematic behaviors as a result of our own distress and emotional reaction to the conflict. Learning to validate how our children feel is not always intuitive and takes practice and understanding, and modeling what one author refers to as "managed emotions, flexible thinking, and moderate behavior" gives our kids a strong alternative to the dysfunctional coping mechanisms that they are exposed to.

Directions: Read through the following workshops we've developed discussing the symptoms and manifestations, with real life stories and examples to help you gain valuable knowledge.

Is your child's well being important?

Conflict has a high cost to the parents and a higher cost to the child. The cost to a child is security, self-esteem, confidence, emotional control, happiness, normal personality development, and a range of other considerations. You have the power to stop the conflict on your end. Read more.

https://bpdfamily.com/pdfs/anger_blame.pdf

What to tell kids about a high-conflict co-parent

In this article, Bill Eddy writes, "Many parents have asked us about how to raise a child or children with a co-parent (whether a spouse, former spouse or unmarried partner) who is “high-conflict.” It is very important to avoid being accused of “bad-mouthing” the other parent, by speaking negatively about him or her to the children and providing too much information about adult issues, such as a court case. On the other hand, you want to protect your children from the blaming and uncontrolled behavior of the high-conflict co-parent, and to provide the children with coping skills and help them not blame themselves. Read more.

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=203238.0

TOOLS: The Power of Validating How Kids Feel

Validation is important for raising emotionally resilient kids, not only to help them heal from the stresses of divorce and having a mentally ill parent, but to help them gain confidence in their own abilities to solve problems. The simplest way to describe validation is that feelings and emotions can never be wrong. Validation is arguably the most important skill to learn as a parent, and it has far-reaching impacts for your child's emotional health. Because BPD parents often have very high needs for validation themselves, and very low capacity to validate others, your child will likely have above-average needs for validation from you.

Read more: https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=272638.msg12585648#msg12585648

TOOLS: Child development and parents with mental illness

As parents, we benefit from understanding the natural developmental stages our children experiences as they grow up. It's good to know that a toddler's "no" is most natural and necessary, for instance. As parents, stepparents, grandparents, and other significant adults who may share in the care of children who have a parent with mental illness, an additional layer of understanding is also needed. How does the child's developmental needs intersect with the parent's mental illness? What are the impacts of a parent's mental illness during different developmental stages? How can we support children so they grow up as resilient as possible? Read more.

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=167128.0

POLL: From Risk to Resiliency--Protective Factors for Children

The effect of parental mental illness on children is varied and unpredictable. Although parental mental illness presents biological, psychosocial and environmental risks for children, not all children will be negatively affected, or in the same way. The age of onset, severity and duration of the parents' mental illness, the degree of stress in the family resulting from the parents' illness, and most importantly, the extent to which parents' symptoms interfere with positive parenting, such as their ability to show interest in their children, will determine the level of risk to a child. Read more.

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=93196.0

POLL: Risk Factors and Preventing BPD

This poll includes a systematic review of studies that a number of early childhood variables associated with increased probability of developing BPD, including socioeconomic deprivation, trauma or stressful life events, poor or inconsistent parenting, and co-occurring psychiatric conditions. In addition to the evidence identified by the systematic review, the Committee also considered a recent narrative review of studies that have evaluated biological and environmental factors as potential risk factors for BPD (including prospective studies of children and adolescents, and studies of young people with BPD). Read more.

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=200896.msg12246734;boardseen#new

POLL: Reframing Thoughts About Family (CBT Technique for Young People)

The way people perceive an experience or problem influences the possible solutions or options they see for change. Reframing involves presenting an alternative possible explanation, interpretation or perception of an experience. This new interpretation may then facilitate positive change. Reframing goes beyond reflective listening, as it presents back to the client what is said in a way which deepens understanding about the event or problem, and creates possibilities for new ways to respond to the issues being discussed. Read more.

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=167593.0

TOOLS: Meditation for children under stress

Children who have a parent with a mental illness are at risk for social, emotional, and behavioral problems for reasons those of us here can all easily understand. Often the lives of children with a BPD parent are chaotic, and the child has to cope with scary and other highly emotional situations on his/her own. Such children are also frequently parentified, and have to become the parent, taking care of their ill mother or father when they should be receiving care themselves. Or they are over-controlled, and their every move is watched for signs of disloyalty, defiance, or simply normal self-interested survival; such children become very guarded and lose the freedom of self-expression and access to their own emotions. They only feel the emotions they are "allowed" to have. Read more.

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=119814.0

TOOLS: Helping our children deal with trauma

To earn the trust of children who have had their trust shattered many times in profound ways, adults must prove that change is possible by changing the way that they meet their child's needs.   Many of us caregivers cannot deal with the situation of our children without first understanding the meaning we've found in our past, and present life experiences, and showing our changes to our children.  When we understand ourselves and build coping skills, we will have the energy and awareness to make the next step to guide our children through the same process. Read more.

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=120428.0

POLL: Which resilience factors does your child have?

When a parent has a mental illness, it impacts the entire family, especially children. Children are more likely to thrive when they have specific resilience factors, such as temperament, intelligence, sociability, creativity, attitude, and support. Read more.

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=165925.0

ARTICLE: Typical Reactions of Children to Divorce

Much of children's post-divorce adjustment is dependent on (1) the quality of their relationship with each parent before the divorce, (2) the intensity and duration of the parental conflict, and (3) the parents' ability to focus on the needs of the children in the divorce. Typically, children whose parents are going through a rough divorce engage in behaviors which are designed to help them feel secure. Read more.

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=271677.msg12577885#msg12577885

POLL: Protecting your children during divorce

Every year, more than 1 million American couples get divorced. For those men and women, it is often the most grueling, emotionally exhausting, and expensive experience they will ever have. For their children, it can be even worse. While many non-BPD parents cannot avoid a custody battle, we can learn how to manage our own anger to help reduce negative impacts on our kids. Read more.

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=71557.0

BOOKS:

Book Review: Putting Children First

Many of us here have children and are either in the process of divorcing our spouse, at least contemplating doing so or have already completed the process.  While we may not want to continue the marriage, we do want to do the best we can to help our children during and after the process.  This book was written for parents, grandparents and others who love our children. Read more.

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=172428.0

Book Review: The Power of Validation (for parents)

The Power of Validation is detailed resource for parents seeking practical skills for validating their child’s feelings without condoning tantrums, selfishness, or out-of-control behavior. You’ll practice communicating with your child in ways that instantly impact his or her mood and help your child develop the essential self-validating skills that set the groundwork for confidence and self-esteem in adolescence and beyond. For all of us, learning to validate is a useful skill. If we are parents, whether parenting a child with BPD traits, parenting with a BPD partner or ex-partner, or parenting after having been raised by a parent with a PD, validation skills are especially important. Read more.

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=166930.0

Book Review: Brain-based Parenting

The biggest challenge to parents, Hughes and Baylin explain, is learning how to regulate emotions that arise—feeling them deeply and honestly while staying grounded and aware enough to preserve the parent–child relationship. Stress, which can lead to “blocked” or dysfunctional care, can impede our brain’s inherent caregiving processes and negatively impact our ability to do this. While the parent–child relationship can generate deep empathy and the intense motivation to care for our children, it can also trigger self-defensive feelings rooted in our early attachment relationships, and give rise to “unparental” impulses.

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=195469.0

BOOKS FOR KIDS AND ADOLESCENTS:

Book Review: Umbrella for Alex  

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=56239.0

Book Review: Sometimes My Mommy Gets Angry

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=186318.0

Book Review: The Weather House: Living with a Parent with Borderline Personality Disorder

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=223218.0

Book Review: In My Corner of the Moon

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=209751.0

Book Review: When Parents Have Problems: A Book for Teens and Older Children With an Abusive, Alcoholic, or Mentally Ill Parent

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=149775.0

Questions:

* How are the kids doing?

* Have you tried validation with them? Did you see any positive effects?

* What does emotional resilience mean for your kids?

* How do you talk to your kids about their mom or dad's mental illness?
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« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2011, 11:14:41 PM »

Lesson 6: Dealing with Parental Alienation 
 
Objective: To understand what parental alienation is, how it affects our kids, and what strategies and tactics are available to help us help our kids weather the negative impacts of "loyalty binds." Parental alienation can happen even in families where both biological parents continue to live together, and is a common problem when one parent has BPD. However, parental alienation tends to worsen after divorce and can become a serious problem for kids who become deeply enmeshed with the BPD parent.
 
Directions: Read through the following workshops we've developed discussing the symptoms and manifestations, with real life stories and examples to help you gain valuable knowledge.
 
VIDEO: What Is Parental Alienation?
After the divorce it is not uncommon for one or both parents to share their frustration about the other parent with the children or in front of the children. To share frustration about the other parent is inappropriate and unfair to the child as it places them in an adult situation and asks them to make adult assessments. If, as parents, we truly love our children, we will heed this warning, act like adults, and do what is necessary to spare our children. In most cases, the children are resilient and learn to adapt while the parents get their acts together. Read more.
https://bpdfamily.org/2010/09/video-what-is-parental-alienation.html
 
POLL: What is Parental Alienation?
The behavior of a parent that engages a child in a discussion so that the child can either participate or hear them degrade the other parent. Some parents are so upset they will reveal too much information such as "court papers." Alienation happens when the parent does not recognize the bounds of what they can say or do. Read more.
https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=165287.0
 
Parental Alienation Syndrome: How to Detect It and What to Do About It
The phenomenon of one parent turning the child against the other parent is not a complicated concept, but historically it has been difficult to identify clearly. Consequently, cases involving PAS are heavily litigated, filled with accusations and counter accusations, and thus leave the court with an endless search for details that eventually evaporate into nothing other than rank hearsay. It is our experience that the PAS phenomenon leaves a trail that can be identified more effectively by removing the accusation hysteria, and looking ahead in another positive direction.
https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=39538.0
 
TOOLS: The Complex Issue of Alienated Children
This workshop discusses the phenomenon of children who are alienated (or becoming alienated) from one parent, before, during, or after the divorce process.When dealing with parental alienation (PA), it's important to understand the source. Some PA is driven by the child. Some PA by the other parent. Some PA by our own actions. And then there are all the combinations of the above. Read more.
https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=104479.0
 
POLL: Why do fathers give up?
Why do some men give up and what do you think can be done to avoid this? Non-custodial fathers' disengagement from their children should not be interpreted as a lack of interest in their children, or the end result of what may have been a tenuous father-child relationship during the marriage. Read more.
https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=92549.0
 
BOOKS:
 
Book Review: Divorce Poison
Some level of animosity is typical in divorce, but when parents let those feelings degenerate into bad-mouthing, bashing, or brainwashing, they run the risk of emotionally damaging their children, according to child psychologist Richard Warshak. He looks at the poisonous relationships that develop when parents carry criticism of their ex-spouses too far: parents and children estranged from one another, protracted and bitter custody and visitation battles, and even ruined relationships with the extended families. Read more.
https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=59950.0
 
Book Review: Don't Alienate the Kids: Raising Resilient Kids While Avoiding High Conflict
Bill Eddy presents a new theory of child alienation in divorce. In his theory, family, friends, professionals and the family court adversarial process inadvertently engage in bad behaviors. All of these bad behaviors combine into "1000's of Little Bricks" that build a wall between a child and one of his or her parents. It's really a result of a Culture of Blame that builds up around the child - and the child joins in. But parents, family, friends and divorce professionals have a choice. They can use these bricks to build a Foundation of Resilience instead - even during a divorce. Read more.
https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=216244.0
 
Book Review: Co-parenting with a Toxic Ex
This book offers a positive parenting approach to dealing with a hostile ex-spouse. You'll learn to avoid the most common mistakes of coparenting, how to avoid “parental alienation syndrome,” and effective techniques for talking to your children in a way that fosters open and honest response. The book describes five primary parental alienation strategies along with concrete and specific suggestions for dealing with them. The five strategies are: (1) poisonous messages to the child that you are unsafe, unavailable, and unloving (2) limiting contact and communication (3) erasing and replacing (4) encouraging betrayal of your trust and (5) undermining your authority.
https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=226013.0
 
Book Review: Children Held Hostage
This book provides a method for establishing that a child has been brainwashed by one parent against another. It is based on a ten-year study of 700 cases in the authors' counseling and evaluative work with children of divorced couples. Members describe this book as belonging more to "scientific study" and mention that it reads more like a textbook, while also claiming that it is very useful. The chapters include: The eight stages of programming and brainwashing: what happens during each stage, the various players and their targets. Identifying brainwashing techniques: how they work and strategies for dealing with them. Uncovering motives and strategies: the manipulator’s purpose, rationale, and tactics. Interviewing children: what to listen for, the questions to ask, and a chart of children's typical statements and what they indicate about the presence of brainwashing. Determining the type, extent, and degree of social-psychological impact on the child, including diagnostic demonstrations and clues. Intervention: countering the destructive effects on the child, including the techniques and methods, with their risks and limitations.
https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=91236.0
 
Questions:
 
* How has parental alienation impacted your kids? Is it mild, moderate, or severe?
 
* How are you counteracting the parental alienation?
 
* Are there specific tools or techniques that have helped you minimize the damage?
 
* Are there resources you would recommend to other parents?
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