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bayleaf 03-25-2010 07:27 PM

Using a Parenting Coach to reduce conflict

I have a really unfortunate situation with the mother of my children. Cooperation is virtually non-existent. Communication is in writing only; it is invariably hostile and I am to blame for everything.

I have tried for years to change this dynamic, first with marriage counseling, then mediation (post-separation), then proposing joint counseling. She's not interested in any cooperative solution and used the courts successfully (and at considerable cost to her wealthy father) to win sole custody.

In my continual search to improve my own situation, and de-escalate the conflict for my children's sake, I learned that our local 'dispute resolution centre' offers coaching services, in addition to family mediation. A coach, I learned, is just a mediator who provides assistance and advice when only one party will come to the table.

I've met with my 'coach' once now and I am feeling optimistic. She has loads of experience with high-conflict parents and believes that just by changing my communication (both style and content), I can unilaterally change the relationship with my ex.

I'm going to give it a try. I'm wondering if anyone else has used a parenting coach and what their experience has been.

NBDad 03-26-2010 02:11 PM

Most of the time a change can only occur if BOTH parties are willing. Good for you for trying to improve things though, conflict is never fun.

Mediation, conflict resolution, arbitration, counselling, coaching, call it whatever you like. It's all the same thing for the most part. (neutral party trying to help 2 conflicting sides come to a mutually agreeable solution to a problem)

There's just no helping some people, especially if that person has a false sense of entitlement. Personal experience is that most of the time it's just not worth it.

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