Craine Counseling and Consulting Group provides counseling services, social work ethics consultations and social work ethics workshops in a variety of settings.

Archive for June, 2014

The Importance of Listening

“When you talk you are only repeating what you already know; But when you listen, you may learn something new.”

— Dalai Lama

What is a Co-Parenting Mission Statement?

Based on the principle, from Steven covey, of developing a family mission statement, a co-parenting statement reminds you of your goals to work together for the best interests of your child(ren). It can include things like:
1. The divorce or break up is not the child’s fault.
2. Both parents love the children. (Notice that this statement is non-judgmental!)
3. Both parents agree to not talk negatively about the other parent in front of the children.
4. Etc.
The goal is a positive statement that is neutral, non-judgmental, demonstrates cooperation and reminds both parents what is in the best interests of the children.
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Goals towards effective co-parenting!

It is heartbreaking when parents can’t put their adult issues aside for the best interests of the child! This is especially true when a child is dying from cancer! How sad for everyone; especially for the child who needs all the love, peace, and support he/she can get through this difficult transition! Don’t wait for your child to get cancer! Ask yourself if all the anger is really with it towards the other parent and if you are really helping the child(den) by holding on to the anger! Remember to think win-win, choose your battles, be grateful for all the positive even if it is that the other parent helped you create your child(ren), and maybe most importantly learn how to forgive yourself and others !

The Power of Forgiveness!

The need to forgive comes from a desire to heal from hurt or sense of loss or actual loss of a relationship. The power to forgive can be quite healing and demonstrates an inner strength we are all capable of. Here are some steps to help you get there:

1. Honor the feelings that are inside of you in the here and now.

2. Make the decision to forgive and that forgiveness is important .

3. Give up your expectations that the other person will be able to meet the needs you had of them.

4. Open up your heart, mind, and spirit to get your unmet needs met differently.

5. Send unconditional love to the other person and release him or her of any “obligation” to meet your needs they obviously can not.

6. See the good in the other person, no matter how small.

Last, but not least, reap the rewards with increased inner peace and harmony (and maybe, even an improved relationship or two)!

Showing Appreciation

“There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread,” said Mother Theresa.

You may no longer “love” your co-parent, but words of appreciation can facilitate a more effective relationship between the two of you. It is important to find the behaviors you want to encourage and share these with your co-parent. It may be as simple as being on time or a phone call with an update or the way she/he was civil at a recent parenting time exchange. Always share the compliment through an “I statement” such as “I appreciate that you . . .” Be as specific as possible. Use positive non-verbal cues as well such as a smile, eye contact, and a friendly voice. If you are given a compliment, accept it graciously. Remember that appreciation breeds optimism and peacefulness. It may not come easy at first, but with regular practice it will beckon second nature. You will be adding to that emotional reservoir that can be depleted during times of stress and tension. Furthermore, you will be happier not hanging on to a lot of negative energy and you will be facilitating improvements in your co-parenting relationship.

What does vinegar have to do with life?

Vinegar tastes bitter. To many, life is bitter. According to Taoist principles, sourness and bitterness come from the interfering and unappreciative mind. Life itself, when understood and utilized for what it is, is sweet.

Adapted from Benjamin Hoff’s the Tao of Pooh

From Benjamin Hoff’s The Tao of Pooh

“Within each of us there is an Owl, a Rabbit, an Eeyore, and a Pooh. For too long, we have chosen the way of Owl and Rabbit. Now, like Eeyore, we complain about the results. But that accomplishes nothing. If we are smart, we will choose the way of Pooh. As if from far away, it calls to us with the voice of a child’s mind. It may be hard to hear at times, but it is important just the same, because without it, we will never find our way through the forest.”

What are your coping skills?

Coping skills are those things that help you through stressful times in a positive way. They can include things like meditation, talking with a trusted friend or family member, exercise of any kind including walking and yoga, journaling, etc. I invite you to share what works for you.


Choose your battles

Each day we encounter challenges with others. It is important for our health (mentally and physically) to choose which battles are really worth fighting and which ones are best to “let go”. Evaluate pros and cons of choosing to fight. The goal should be a win win for all involved. Ultimately, it is most healthy when stress is minimized and we approach conflict/challenges with an attitude of compassion and a desire to learn something positive so we grow and evolve into a healthier person and ultimately a healthier society.

What’s working for you or what do you need help with in your co-parenting relationship?

I would really like to know what makes your co-parenting relationship work and/or what you are struggling with for a book I am writing. You may share here or send me an e-mail at

More information about Craine Mediation can be found at