Two parents swing a happy child between their arms at sunset

#psychlopedia: co-parenting

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What is a ‘co-parent’?

According to Dictionary.com the definition of a co-parent is:

  • a divorced or separated parent who shares equally with the other parent in the custody and care of a child.
  • to share equally with another parent in the care of (a child)
  • to act as a co-parent

Coparenting can mean a variety of different things. If a couple is separated or divorced, it might mean how to best take care of the children as individuals but also together successfully. Coparenting also occurs in a family where the parents are still married. Each parent shares the responsibility for the child or children equally, and their ultimate goal is to provide the best possible care as a cohesive unit.

No matter what your family looks like, communicating in a positive and effective manner is always the best way to achieve healthy family dynamics.

Single Dad with baby strapped to his front, getting baby food at the grocery store

What are the effects of having a single parent?

By | Biltmore, Blog, Communication, Coping, Divorce, Family, Parenting | No Comments

What are the effects of having a single parent? We all know someone who grew up with a single parent, or we might have even grown up with a single parent ourselves. The idea around the modern ‘nuclear family’ is that a family is one that consists of children and their respective parents.

Does this mean that children who have only one parent, are more susceptible to possible negative effects psychologically, socially, as a family, etc? According to some studies done in Sweden, children who have only one parents have double the ‘incidence of psychiatric illness, apparent suicide attempts, substance abuse issues, and lower self esteem’.

But why?

It is said that children who are in a single parent home might not have the stability that a double parent home would have. The single parent won’t have the other parent to bounce ideas, strategies, decisions, and be able to take breaks with. And in turn, the children will see the single parent suffer or struggle more in these types of situations.

If the parents are going through a divorce, are they able to keep the tension, arguments, and possible resentment away from the children? Are they able to still keep the other parent in a positive light to benefit the children? One of the biggest problems families going through a divorce is the parents will let their anger or sadness paint a negative light on the other parent, and the children will pick up on that. Being able to not speak negatively or aggressively about the other parent to the child (or in front of the child) is key to their adaptation and acceptance of the divorce.

There is a wonderful in depth article over at How Stuff Works on all of the psychological effects of having just one parent, where they give tips and solutions on how to weather the storm if you’re struggling as a single parent.

Parenting through Divorce

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Were your parents divorced growing up? Or did you experience your parents getting divorced as an adult? Has this changed or affected you in any particular way?

Everyone has a divorce experience. Whether you have gone through one yourself or know someone who has gone through one. And when there are children involved, it can easily complicate things. It’s hard to figure out if doing what is right for a marriage, is also right for the family. The most important thing is to realize how this will affect everyone in the family, instead of just the couple in the marriage.

Divorcing can have long term impact on children as they grow up. Sometimes children can suffer academically, socially, or can start to suffer individually and not know how to speak up about what they are feeling. There are ways to make sure that you are going through your divorce with the right steps, ensuring that you and your spouse are communicating effectively and cordially.

There is an excellent article on Psychology Today called ‘Quality Parenting Needed Most During Divorce’. It starts with list of questions to ask yourself about your decision to divorce as it relates to your children. It goes on to give great advice on how to navigate the sometimes difficult road of divorce. If you’re going through divorce, thinking about it, or know someone who is, take a look at this article today!

#psychlopedia – Blended Family

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A simple definition of a blended family, is a family unit where one or both parents have children from a previous relationship, but they have combined to form a new family.

A blended family can cause tension as both parties are trying to navigate a new life together. However, many families that are blended can emerge as a successful family unit by embracing their differences, accepting new role models into their loves, and creating new habits while working together.

Your Child is Gay, Now What?

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By Leah Brignall

When we think about some of the challenges of coming out, we tend to think of the changes that the gay individual will experience. But what about their family and loved ones? When a person comes out, it can be a time of change for many people in their lives as well, especially their parents. While some find joy in their child being true to their identity, others find these transitions more difficult. Parents may feel lost or afraid. Will their child fit in? Will they be bullied? How do I interact with them? These are common questions, and there are resources for loved ones to find answers! This article, When a Child Comes Out, Parents May Want to Go in the Closet, gives some insight as to what a parent’s thought process might be. There are also some resources and tips for support! In the end, the most important thing is to try to accept your child for who they are and don’t be afraid to talk about it.