PARENTING PLANS AND YOUR CHILD’S EQ
Separating and/or divorcing parents have their children’s best interests in mind. These parents want their children to thrive as the family reorganizes its structure. Knowing where to start and how to accomplish this weighty task can be daunting for even the most confident of parents. Developing a Parenting Plan, with the help of an Accredited Family Mediator, provides a tangible road map. Building in measures to support children’s social, emotional and behavioural needs support their ability to navigate and adapt to change.
Carefully designed parenting plans consider and cultivate the above skills. Therefore, children of all ages whose parents are separating and/or divorcing have the opportunity to increase their emotional intelligence. This form of intelligence is often referred to as ones’ emotional quotient (EQ). EQ is recognized as essential to children's ability to develop healthy relationships, a strong sense-ofself and academic fitness. Children with high EQ are better prepared to understand and manage feelings and communicate effectively, both verbally and non-verbally. Therefore, family restructuring can offer impacted children with the opportunity to practice the inter-personal and intra-personal skills that they will need throughout their lifetimes.
Parenting plans are collaboratively designed by separating and/or divorcing parents with the support of an Accredited Family Mediator. A family’s unique needs at any and all stages of the de-coupling process will be considered. The needs addressed include parenting time schedules, decision making, and communication protocols. Each of these areas is explored to mobilize the family’s unique set of strengths and interests. Consequently, a challenging situation builds family and individual resilience and the risk factors that impede it are contained. This positions the family and its members for long-term success.
Parenting plans incorporate child-development knowledge and best parenting practices for the typical developing child along with children with Learning Disabilities, Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder, and Pervasive Developmental Disorders. This information coupled with parents' best intentions create parenting plans that facilitate family functioning during periods of stress and over its lifespan. Ultimately, all family members are positioned to achieve in our increasingly relationship-driven world.
Audrey Huberman Ed.D., Acc. F. M. BIO Audrey Huberman is a Doctor of Education and a Certified Family Mediator. She is a part-time faculty member at Ryerson University and maintains a private practice in Toronto teaching and counselling individuals of all ages in the areas of social, emotional and behavioural skills. Her expertise has been featured in such publications as Canadian Living and Today's Parent.