Thursday, March 10, 2011


Today's guest expert, Margit Crane, offers advice to parents crafting a parenting plan.

You can find Margit Crane at

Preparing to Craft a Parenting Plan

You’re getting divorced. Your kids are shaken and you are a jumble of emotions. It is in this confusion and drama that you will be asked to craft a parenting plan. No small feat, to be sure. Hopefully, these fail-proof tips will guide your decisions:

1. Be consistent. This isn’t about you and your ex. This is about your kids. Forget about convenience. Divorce isn’t convenient. If you want your kids to thrive despite this upheaval, you need to be willing to be uncomfortable for their sake. What does this mean?

a. DO keep a consistent weekly schedule. It’s harder to do as a single parent but important to your child’s sense of security and well-being.

b. DO keep a consistent daily schedule. Again, children who know what to expect feel safer and more confident, and are able to form stronger bonds with parents and friends.

c. DON’T bring new people into your time together or into your home until you are in a committed long-term relationship. If you end the relationship, you’re not the only one to suffer and your kids learn that relationships are fleeting and people are heartbreakers.

2. Be an adult. Your child is not your confidant/e and is not responsible for your emotional, physical, spiritual, or financial well-being. You be the parent and let your kid be the kid.

a. Be responsible for co-creating and upholding your behavioral expectations and consequences.

b. Expect the behavior you’ve outlined and follow-through on the consequences, even if it’s painful for you to do. If you say one thing and do another, your kids will learn that the world - and, most particularly, YOU – is not trustworthy.

c. Get help if you need it. If your car broke down, you wouldn’t leave it on the side of the road and forget about it. That won’t repair your car. Ignoring a problem won’t repair your family either. Consult a doctor, therapist, or family coach if you are struggling.

3. Be light and polite always. This should be the rule in everyone’s house, divorced or not. And these behaviors apply to both kids and adults:

a. No name-calling, taunting, or teasing

b. No put-downs

c. Say “please” “thank you” “you’re welcome” “excuse me”

d. Don’t yell, nag, or lecture

e. Listen when someone is speaking to you.

f. Don’t use an insulting or disrespectful tone of voice when speaking to each other.

Remember: If you’re trying to convince someone to see things your way, you’re not having a conversation; you’re having a power struggle. Those don’t work.

Copyright Margit Crane 2011

Margit Crane, M.S., M.Ed., is passionately devoted to making growing up much easier for ADD/ADHD kids, discombobulated teens, and the stressed-out parents who love them! “You don’t have to sit around waiting for this latest ‘phase’ to pass,” she says encouragingly. With Margit, clients enjoy more confidence, smoother communication, fewer conflicts, closer relationships, and increased academic success, all while having a lot more FUN!

You can find Margit Crane at

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