As the wildfires burn out of control in BC this summer, so it seems, do the ongoing disputes between some parents about summer parenting time. I wonder sometimes if parents realize how awful it must be for the children to be caught in the crossfire between the 'responsible' adults in their life, all of which is done, supposedly in "the name of love". I wonder if there is a better way to show love and commitment to parenting without putting a child smack in the middle of your disputes?
If my annoyance is coming across in my writing, I apologize, but it's not surprising given the number of interactions I have had in the past weeks with parents who are so blinded by concerns for their own 'rights' to their children, that they can't see their way to resolving disputes "in the best interests of their child", for what that's worth. Of course there will be the exceptional cases where lawyers need to be involved, but for the most part, I believe there is a better way to resolve these types of disputes and that is to use professionals who are trained to deal with children and children's issues.
This is my little plug for parents to use parenting coaches and parenting counselors instead of lawyers, to resolve summer parenting and scheduling problems. Collaborative Divorce BC has a website that lists counselors and coaches who can help both parents (together!) to come up with some sort of compromise that doesn't necessitate dragging the children on a sunny summer day to the lawyers office to try to give a statement about what the parent did or didn't do. Honestly, it feels tragic to me that parents could think that their child actually wants to be involved to the point of making a statement to a lawyer about the other parent.
If you have a parenting dispute, which even the most skilled parents and communicators will encounter, consider using a mental health professional, a counselor or a parenting coach to assist you. You and your former partner can sit together to discuss the issue with a counselor, and get some guidance and advice, which you may or may not accept, but isn't it worth a try, for the sake of your child?
Here is the link to the Collaborative Divorce BC Website, where you can find the parenting coaches and counselors:
and HERE for child specialists
Family Law Lawyer and Mediator