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Before you can make things better, you have to stop making them worse... Have you considered that being critical, judgmental, or invalidating toward the other parent, no matter what she or he just did will only make matters worse? Someone has to be do something. This means finding the motivation to stop making things worse, learning how to interrupt your own negative responses, body language, facial expressions, voice tone, and learning how to inhibit your urges to do things that you later realize are contributing to the tensions.
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Author Topic: Suggested Reading for Co-Parenting After the Split  (Read 697 times)
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« on: April 05, 2007, 08:38:40 PM »

Suggested Reading for Co-Parenting After the Split  

The following is a list of books our members have found helpful in providing a comprehensive and balanced overview of relevant topics, and can help guide you in your journey toward successful shared parenting.

For more material on important shared parenting topics, including workshops, polls, articles, and tools, check out our Lessons for Successful Shared Parenting: Click Here


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.


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.


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.



Book Review: Umbrella for Alex

Emotionally abused children grow up with significantly altered perceptions so that they "see" behaviors—their own and others'—through a filter of distortion. Many emotionally abused children engage in a lifelong drive for the approval (which they translate as "love" of others. So eager are they for love—and so convinced that they don't deserve it—that they are prime candidates for abuse within intimate relationships.   An Umbrella for Alex tells the story of how a young boy learns to understand and cope with his mother’s BPD illness.  Written to be read with a therapist or parent, the book reassures affected children that they did not cause and are not responsible for a BPD parent’s volatile behavior. Read more.


Book Review: Sometimes My Mommy Gets Angry

Some mornings, Annie's mother's smiles are as bright as sunshine as she makes pancakes for breakfast and helps Annie get ready for school. But other days, her mother doesn't smile at all and gets very angry. Those days Annie has to be a big girl and make her own breakfast, and even put herself to bed at night. But Annie's grandma helps her remember what to do when her mommy isn't well, and her silly friends are there to cheer her up. And no matter what, Annie knows that even when Mommy is angry on the outside, on the inside she never stops loving her.


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

This is an illustrated book for school-aged children that provides "clinically sound" and age-appropriate clear answers to frequently asked questions about the borderline personality disorder of a parent and how to cope with the situation. The book uses analogies of weather patterns to describe two days in the chaotic life of David and Mary. Psychoeducational comments are provided throughout the book by a “weather wiz” who explains the mother’s sometimes strange behaviors that can be challenging to comprehend. This book can help teach children to take some distance, to better understand what is happening at home and how not to feel responsible for their parents’ "stormy" moods.


Book Review: In My Corner of the Moon

In My Corner On the Moon is intended for children and adolescents who have experienced some form of trauma. Narrated by 12-year-old Abigail, the book is written in a straightforward but gentle style and has a strong psycho-educational component. The idea is to normalize the response that many children have to overwhelming events in their lives. Through Abigail’s story, trauma is put into simple terms that kids can understand and it’s done without delving into details of her own or any specific trauma, but focusing instead on responses to trauma and the healing process that follows. Interactive questions at the end of each page encourage discussion among children and the trusted adults in their lives.


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

This book is written with the idea that intelligent children can use sound ideas to improve their lives, either on their own or with the help of adults. The author helps the reader to be realistic about the sources of a problem, particularly if they are the results of a parent's difficulties. The text covers the kinds of problems that a parent's troubles can cause and offers ideas on how to deal constructively with the challenges. Topics included are mistreatment, selfishness, when parents are in pain, when parents cause pain, big time feelings, troubled parents and ordinary teen life, scapegoating, power struggles, why parents have problems, and getting professional help.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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