Who knew? I am the person who says, parenting consultants? Just say no! I think it is a horrible process that takes legal custody away from parents and gives it to a stranger. That is what happens when you invite a parenting consultant into your family life, they make the decisions that parents can’t or won’t. But you do not know that is what happens until you start working with a PC.
Because of this, I have spent most of my time in business trying to help people see what parenting consultants or coordinators do. I have used my knowledge and experience to open eyes. Now more parents are aware of the problems with parenting consultants and either steer clear of them or work with them very cautiously.
I am also teaching the High Conflict Diversion Program started by Brook Olsen in California. I have been working hard to bring that program to Minnesota and divert parents out of the family court system and learning new ways to communicate and parent their childen in the midst of a hostile co-parenting situation. However, none of it has been enough.
Even though I help parents see certain realities about family court and to parent with a horrible situation, I have come to realize that I am preaching to the choir. You guys are very trainable. You want better lives and you want your children out of the court situation as much as possible and when I work with you, most of you do not hesitate in making changes that will make your life, and the lives of your children, better. I stick up for you all over the place because when some court authority says, “Oh, those people are all crazy!”, I know you are NOT crazy. I know that you are NOT bad parents and you DON’T deserve to lose custody. I know that you are making the best of a very bad, highly stressful, situation that you were not in any way prepared to deal with, and I know it is not fair for me to work with you and not work with the court professionals on your case.
When I first trained as a mediator, one of my first thoughts was, hey, maybe I can be a mediator between parents and parenting consultants or coordinators. Unfortunately, the professionals would never do that. So again, I know that you are willing to come to the table for a fresh start after learning some things about the process, but I am doubtful that any court professionals would. So I made a decision for what my next step would be.
I am going to start training parenting consultants and coordinators. How helpful am I when I am teaching you knew ways to cope with a hostile co-parenting situation, yet your parenting consultant punishes you for putting those new tools into action? It is not very helpful at all.
With the connections I have now, I realized that I can set up a training for them and help the court professionals gain some insight into you and how you tick and why the tools I give you have to have the blessings of the PCs. So I am prepared to teach them why these tools help the children and why they should encourage you in your efforts to approach high conflict co-parenting in a different way. I will be calling on a couple of other groups who want to teach these court professionals about abuse and how to support parents. I am very excited to reach out to these professionals.
What can you do to help? As always, you need to tread carefully with any court authority on your case. It is best not to tell them to take my training or to read something I wrote. They do not take too kindly to that advice and will go out of their way to avoid it, especially if one of those “crazy parents” gave the information to them. Instead, what I’d like you to do, if you know of a court authority who could benefit from my training, send me their contact info and why you think they need to attend the training, and I will add them to the email or mailing list and they can get the information with everyone else. So please let me know who to include on my list by contacting me, and check out my new court consulting web page.
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.