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strategy fails A critical first step is to create a detailed vision, or clear mental

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									 Are you tired of playing joint-custody tug-of-war
with your Ex? Would you rather be paying for your
 kid's needs than paying your custody attorney?
Discover the How-Tos of mutual respect with your
   Ex and co-operation in your shared parenting
   plans. Find advice that's miles apart from the
  usual divorced-parent information found in any
ordinary shared-custody parenting class. These 5
 Steps to Successful Co-parenting give you, your
Ex, and your children the support you need most.

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  Divorced with kids, but still playing the "who's-right, who's-wrong" game? Are
your attempts to co-parent plagued by leftover anger and unsettled arguments
from the past? If you're angry, confused, or just wondering how in the world
you will ever be able to share the responsibility of raising your kids with your
Ex, then read on Five Steps to Co-parenting for Happy, Healthy Kids Here are
five simple steps you can follow to cultivate a co-parenting relationship that will
help you, your children, and your Ex-Spouse to flourish - even after divorce
While the steps are simple, using them successfully still requires both
commitment and follow-through But anything worth doing is worth doing well
And isn't having happy, healthy kids worth it to you? Step One: Clarify Your
Intention Are you clear about your co-parenting intentions? But first, do you
know the difference between an intention and a strategy? Knowing this
difference is essential Your intention can be described as your values
expressed as a vision for a particular situation in an area cheap hosting of your
life Your strategies are specific plans or results that will give you what you
value If you don't understand this, you'll tend to get stuck on whether or not
other people agree with your strategies This can leave people feeling
defensive and closed-minded Even worse, being attached to a particular
strategy dramatically limits your opportunities to be satisfied One strategy =
One opportunity You might have adopted the strategy to hold a family meeting
every week that everyone must attend
 But what is your intention that had you pick this strategy? You intention may
have been to create a peaceful, supportive atmosphere for your kids to grow
up in But there are many strategies for creating this intention And when
you're clear about the intention, it remains possible even if your specific
strategy fails A critical first step is to create a detailed vision, or clear mental
image, describing what you value that you would like to experience in your
co-parenting relationship, for you, your kids, and your Ex Step Two: Get On
The Same Page Do you share the same vision and want the same results?
After you get clear about your values and what you would like to experience,
get together with your co-parent and explore what they want It's critical that
you keep at this dialog until you're just as sure that you each understand what
the other person wants as you are about what you want yourself And
remember to keep all strategies out of this part of the discussion They are
important, but they come later After you each clearly understand what you
both value about co-parenting your children, then co-create a shared intention
about what you want Start small but build big
  To begin with, it shouldn't be difficult for you and your Ex to agree that you
value your kids happiness, security, education, etc List all the things you both
can easily agree that you value for your children Then you can start tossing
out strategies like family meetings, but just use these as opportunities to get to
what you value Keep adding to the list of values that you can be on the same
page about until you have a WOW experience, like this: "Wow! If we could
create that for our kids I'd be overjoyed!" Then you know you've co-created a
powerful intention for your kid's future When you begin by getting on the same
page, you pave the way for easy agreements, successful results, and greater
satisfaction for everyone along the way Step Three: Negotiate Will you take
your own and your co-parent's needs into consideration? Will you keep
negotiating until both of you are satisfied? Do you know the difference between
negotiation and compromise? It's another difference that is essential to
understand for success in your co-parenting relationship Compromise begins
when you identify what everyone wants Then you see who's willing to give up
part of what they want until everyone can live with what's left It is a lose-lose
solution Compromise is based in scarcity thinking: the belief that there isn't
enough to go around, so you have to settle for whatever you can get in order
to get anything at all
 Negotiation, on the other hand, begins when you identify what everyone
values and then determine what's missing in the situation Why don't you have
what you value now? Then you keep your attention focused on what you value
while you co-create strategies that will satisfy everyone Negotiation is based
in abundance thinking: the belief that if we truly understand the problem the
perfect solution will present itself When you believe it's possible for everyone
to be satisfied - no compromise necessary - you'll have the confidence to stick
with the process until it works Never give up on the values you hold for your
kids: that they continue to learn, grow, and know that they are safe and loved
Step Four: Create Powerful Agreements Now that you've negotiated a plan,
what needs to happen and who's willing to do which parts? Often when people
think they've made agreements, in reality they've only expressed vague
understandings of what they want and how they would like that to happen This
is wishful thinking - not agreeing Powerful agreements are specific about who,
what, when, and how They require positive confirmation of each person's
willingness and commitment to co-operate with the plan
  If anyone is unwilling to clearly commit to an action it only means that there is
something they value that hasn't been considered in the plan It's simply an
opportunity to revisit your shared intention and renegotiate your strategies
Powerful agreements are made joyfully because you clearly see how they
support your vision and values Step Five: Set Up Accountability Will your
agreements continue to work for everyone in the family? Will they create the
results you want? Without accountability you can't know if your agreements are
actually working By the time you finally find out that they aren't, you may have
already built up dangerous levels of frustration, resentment and resignation
You create accountability by setting specific times to follow up on your
agreements Then discuss how things are working and see what changes
might be needed If you practice accountability with your co-parent it will build
trust and confidence Accountability meetings allow you to practice all 5 Steps
of Successful Co-parenting
 1 Do you still have a clear Intention? 2 Are you still On the Same Page? 3
Do you need more Negotiation? 4 Is it time to make new Agreements? 5 How
will you ensure ongoing Accountability? Co-parenting is challenging enough
when you're married When you throw in the upset and stress of divorce, the
likelihood of difficulty and disappointment skyrockets, because you and your
Ex bring old baggage into this new relationship, habitual patterns and
unresolved issues are guaranteed to come up Remember that clarifying your
intention focuses you on what you want, and understanding what everyone
values in the situation creates the possibility of everyone being satisfied With
your commitment and focused attention, you can build a successful
co-parenting relationship and open the way to raising happy, healthy kids
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