Trickle-down-loving-guide is a term coined at a workshop presentation of one of the primary roles of a good divorce or co-parent coach. When parents are facing one of the scariest, most upsetting, conflict-filled and/or anxiety provoking changes in their lives, the coach steps in as a “loving guide”. This is a drawn from the metaphor of being lost in the woods with your children:  do you worry about not having enough water, being lost forever and eaten by bears? Or, do you speak with confidence, do you have a plan, are you prepared, do you believe in a positive outcome? When we’re able to perform those functions for our children, we’re loving guides.

Water fall in the gardenThe co-parent coach holds a view of the co-parents’ future that includes: 1) building confidence in their ability to work together to support their children and optimism that things will get better in time, 2) bringing practices, protocols, and strategies to the table for weathering the turbulence, and 3) guiding the new co-parents out of the difficult emotional terrain of dismantling their partnership while rebuilding a strong co-parenting relationship.

The co-parent coach does for the co-parents what they want to turn around and go home and do for their children: instill confidence that things will get worked out and be OK, and maintain optimism for the future, teach the kids the necessary skills to navigate a two-home family successfully, and support their children through the emotional ups-and-downs of the changing family! Children who inherit this type of support from their parents enter adulthood and ultimately parenthood better prepared to assist their own children with life’s inevitable ups-and-downs.

That’s “trickle down loving guide.”