April 2017

"Yes, we are all imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn't change the truth that we're also brave and worthy of love and belonging." It doesn't matter if your child is 4 years old, 14, or 44 - parenting is a lifetime commitment.

~ Brene Brown, The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting

What Children Tell a Divorce Lawyer

By Shawn D. Skillin, Esq.

Earlier in my career I did work for the court as Minor's Counsel.  I interviewed children and heard firsthand what they thought about their parents' divorce.  Occasionally, as a mediator I still interview children. Here's what they tell me:   

They love both of their parents.
They would be happier if their parents could get along and not argue about them so much.  They don't like it when their parents talk badly or say mean things about the other parent.  They don't want to have to keep the secrets of one parent from the other.  They don't want to have to carry messages back and forth between the parents. One of these kids told me how he handles the message thing, he said,   "If my Mom tells me to tell my Dad something, when I see my Dad, I just say "Mom wants to talk to you."  Smart kid.  Kids want adults to moderate their behavior* and keep their own secrets.

Kids like a schedule, they like predictability too.  
But they also want a certain amount of flexibility.  They are frustrated when they perceive a parent as too rigid.  They would like to swap weekends, if they get a chance to go to Disneyland or a baseball game.  

Kids worry about things, you might not think about.
If you are struggling emotionally, get support  from other adults, therapists and friends, not your kids. 

Transformative Mediation & New Ways

y Jennifer J. Winestone, Esq., LL.M. (ADR)
"When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves."  -   Viktor Frankl

Mediation is a negotiation that is facilitated by a neutral third party, whose job is to help disputants find a mutually acceptable resolution to their problem.  Transformative mediation is mediation's  Paleo  diet. It's a back-to-basics and root-source approach to mediation. Instead of seeking resolution (a settlement/agreement), transformative mediation seeks to change ( transform ) party-interaction, perception and approach to conflict. 

And, according to the theory, this is exactly what parties are really looking to achieve in conflict resolution:

"......the help parties most want, in all types of conflict, involves helping them end the vicious circle of disempowerment, disrespect and demonization, alienation from both self and other.  Because without ending or changing that cycle, the parties cannot move beyond the negative interaction that has entrapped them and cannot escape its crippling effects."

In other words, transformative mediation focuses on the "people" as opposed to the "problem".  Sound familiar?  It should.  This is also the focus of the New Ways for Families approach: a people centric, skills-based protocol for conflict resolution. The New Ways for Families method  is  transformative.
New! Printable Client Handouts
We are always looking for client resources. We know you are too!

That's why we now have a dedicated Parent Resource page & Parent Handout page on our website, updated frequently. Check it out!

Here's a sample of what's online - Available for download now!

New Video Content - Free!
Excellent Resource for Parents
The Effect of Stress on a Child's Brain Development 

Research shows that chronic stress negatively impacts a child's brain development. Learn how the brain works, how we perceive stressful events and how to manage stress in a positive way so we don't overexpose our children to stressful events. 

Behaviors that overexpose our children to stress include those behaviors related to: substance abuse, child abuse, domestic violence and anger management issues. Moderate Behaviors and Managed Emotions are essential to protecting children from too much stress.  Full Video
Four Emotions That Can Interfere

Four emotions can interfere with making good decisions: guilt, fear, hopelessness and anger. 
These are common and can inhibit your relationship with your children, successful co-parenting and successful decision making. Learn how to manage these four emotions so you can maintain a good relationship with your children and co-parent.  Full Video  

Network News
Providers: Don't Miss Out on Your Licensing Benefits!

- Permission to use the name, method and materials with clients

- Promote yourself as an approved New Ways provider

- Online Listing on our website allows parents to easily find your services

- Marketing assistance, including sample flyers 

- Collaboration in presenting to community groups, associations, the general public or your court system

- Our Network of highly regarded professionals allows for collaboration, brainstorming and networking opportunities (new tools coming in 2017!)

- Discount on Client Workbooks: Purchase workbooks in pdf format for local printing OR discount on bulk orders of printed workbooks

Michelle Jensen, MSW, JD
Program Director
Bill Eddy, LCSW, CFLS
President ~ High Conflict Institute
Developer ~ New Ways for FamiliesĀ® method
In This Issue
Quick Links
Intro for Professionals Video  Free on YouTube
Current Programs
New providers added with each new training. Join us today!

We are currently looking for a local, county or state association or a local community group to host a 2-day training in the following locations:

Orange County, CA
Seattle, WA
Houston, TX

Interested? Contact Us!

New Ways Online
Parenting Without Conflict: 12 Session Online Course

Parenting Without Conflict: 12 Session Online Course
Set your clients up for success! Give them the opportunity to learn and practice skills for  resilience, decision making, emotional
management & p
roblem-solving, before asking them to make the big decisions.

*Want to review the content first? Contact us for a free account.
Featured Books

"Parents can either build a wall of alienation or a foundation of resilience."

Learn about our theory of "1000 Little Bricks," based on recent brain research about how  children learn.


Bloom is a brain-based approach to parenting all children.

Come to understand the developmental origins of behaviors and take a fresh look at how you can addres s  them with skill-building techniques that produce real and lasting change.

Upcoming Events
AFCC - Annual Conf.  
May 31-June 1, 2017
Boston, MA

NCJFCJ - Annual Conf.
July 17-19, 2017
Washington, DC
Exhibitor / Presenter

Orange County Bar Assn
July 19, 2017
Family Law Section Mtg.
Presenter, Shawn Skillin, Esq.
Network News: FAQs
FAQ: Most commonly asked question from providers:

Q: Must I use the full court-based counseling structure, including a court order & both parents' participation, in order to use New Ways in my counseling practice? 

A: No! We have become more flexible. If your client is the only parent interested in learning new skills, you can use the workbook and method with client during sessions. 

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