Empowered co-parenting: How to develop a mindful approach with Mikki Gardener

Divorcing Well

Leanne Townsend is the founding partner of Townsend Family Law. Each month, our team sends a newsletter full of helpful tips, advice and insights to help you navigate family law challenges.

Regardless of how uncooperative your co-parent may be, you have a choice in how you experience the co-parenting relationship, according to conscious parenting coach Mikki Gardener.

Mikki recently appeared on Divorcing Well and told Leanne Townsend that establishing a positive co-parenting dynamic can be challenging when there’s a history of pain, anger and trauma.

When parents embrace conscious co-parenting, it signifies a mindful approach where decisions are made intentionally, with a clear understanding of their ‘what’ and ‘why’, she explained.

The “three A’s” strategy could set parents up for success: awareness, agency, and aligned action.

Learning how to be more aware and present, Mikki said, is the greatest skill parents could learn for themselves and to teach children.

From navigating high-conflict dynamics to more amicable situations, this podcast is essential listening for divorcing parents seeking effective co-parenting insights.

Listen on AppleSpotify or wherever you download your favourite podcasts.

Expert weighs in on the importance of protecting children from interparental conflict

Even when parents go through a breakup, they can come together and agree that their children come first.

An insightful article by New York Family gives tips on how to successfully co-parent, featuring expert Sabrina Shaheen Cronin, a U.S. lawyer.

Divorce can be detrimental to a child’s mental state, so Cronin suggests parents keep conflict hidden, whether verbal or non-verbal (children are good at picking up tension!). It may be hard to hide your unfavourable feelings for your ex, but it’s for your child’s well-being.

Allow your children to see the other parent in a healthy light. This will take strength, especially if you feel strong negativity toward them, but not speaking ill of the other parent is so important.

Cronin also says consistency is key. This means getting on the same page with the other parent, including when it comes to rules, routines, and more, as kids thrive on structure.

Above all, remind your children even though life looks and feels a little different, their other parent is still their parent and loves them very much.

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Leanne Townsend’s tips for what not to do as a parent during divorce to minimize stress for the kids

Divorce is an emotionally charged process for everyone in the family, including the children. In a recent blog, Leanne Townsend shares advice for parents on what not to do during a split, so stress for the kids is minimized:

  • Don’t expose children to conflict: A child’s emotional health can be seriously impacted by ongoing exposure to parental fights, conflicts, and antagonism.
  • Don’t use children as messengers: This puts strain on a child and places them in between arguments. Parents should find a healthier form of communication.
  • Don’t speak negatively about their other parent: Children become distrustful of both parents when one of them disparages the other.
  • Don’t neglect the child’s emotional needs: Create a safe environment for children during this time of turmoil, especially when they can feel a range of emotions from anger to grief to worry. Counselling might be helpful, too.

Highlights from Divorce Explained

Every week, Leanne Townsend co-hosts an Instagram Live show with family lawyer Steve Benmor, where they discuss issues on the minds of those who are divorced or divorcing. Here are the topics from a couple of recent shows. Click on the photo to check out the full episode.

Considerations for when the Prime Minister divorces

Justin and Sophie Trudeau recently announced their split. In this episode, we consider how the conversation might go if the Prime Minister and his wife consulted us for legal advice.

The importance of civility in family law matters

You think you want a shark as a lawyer, but do you? In this episode, Leanne and Steve share their perspectives on civility in family law matters and why it is in a client’s best interests for their lawyer to maintain professionalism.

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Looking for more information?

Looking for more information on what to expect during a divorce, abusive relationships, love and money, life after divorce or other family law topics?

Check out the In the News and Blog sections of my website where there’s a wealth of great content to get you up to speed on everything you need to know.

Leanne Townsend, Family Lawyer

Partner, Brauti Thorning LLP
Brookfield Place161 Bay Street,
Suite 2900,
Toronto, ON M5J 2S1

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Leanne Townsend is a multifaceted entrepreneur and attorney experienced in the areas of family law and domestic violence. She provides a full range of family law legal services in addition to running workshops and other programs to support people as they go through divorce.

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