Pivotal Parenting Point 
Doris  I. Mangrum

1) Establish a business relationship with your former spouse.  The business is the co-parenting of your child(ren). Appointments are made to talk about business, meetings take place, agendas are provided, and discussions focus on the business at hand.  Everyone is polite, formal courtesies are observed, communication is direct, and agreements are explicit, clear, and written. You do not need to like the people you do business with, but you do need to put negative feelings aside in order to conduct business.

2) If you have not already done so, call a truce with your ex.

3) Send and return children who are clean, rested, and fed.

4)Do not send messages or money with your children.

5)Do not suggest possible plans or make time arrangements directly with children under 12 years of age.  Always confirm any arrangements you have discussed with an older child with the other parent as soon as possible.

6)Always be on time for pick-up and drop-off and have the children ready to go.

7) Transfers can be painful times.  Be kind and patient with each other and your children.

8) If your kids want to talk, shut up and listen.

9) Don't give false hopes of reunification,

10) Remember, no one is all bad or all good. Be honest (with yourself) about your own strengths and weaknesses and those of your ex.

11) If you need to change the schedule, notify the other parent as soon as possible.

12)Maintain as many security anchors (continuation of relationships, rituals, and the environment) as possible for your children.

13)Never put your children in a position where they have to choose between their parents or decide where their allegiance lies.

14)  Don't overindulge your children out of guilt on in an attempt to "buy" them. 

15)  Share good memories, but do not live in the past.

16)  Keep parenting issues separate from money issues.

17) If possible, tell your children about the pending separation together before one parent leaves.  Plan a transition time if you can.

18)If you are not united, it will confuse the child and confirm to him that he can manipulate you.

19)  Ensure that boyfriends, girlfriends, and potential stepparents go slow, stay out of the divorce, and don't interfere  in a child's relationship with either of his'her natural parents.  Do not encourage the child to call potential stepparents Mom or Dad.

20)Remember that schedules will have to change from time to time to accommodate the other parent and your child's development.

21) Your child's relationship with his parents will influence his relationships for the rest of his/her life.  Allow him/her to love both parents without fear of angering or hurting the other.

22)Divorce is not an event, it is a process.  Allow yourself, your ex-spouse, and you children  ample time for readjustment.

23) Divorce, in itself, will not destroy your children.  It is your reaction to the divorce that has the power to destroy their coping mechanisms.

24)Dissolving a marriage doesn't end the family or dissolve your parenting obligations.  In fact, while a family is undergoing the restructuring process, the children need strong and caring parents more than ever.  If you and your ex are too emotionally drained to be those parents, find temporary substitutes who can give you children what they need.

25) Every child needs at least one loving,stable parent,  It is YOUR responsibility to be that parent.


Make sure children know their full name, address (city and state) and telephone number, including area code.

Be sure that children know how to use 911 and how to use a pay phone.

Teach children never to accept rides or gifts from people they do not know.

Teach children to go to a store clerk, security guard or police officer if they get lost in a mall, store or on the street.

Children should be accompanied to the restrooms.

Show children safe places they can go in your neighborhood in an emergency, like a trusted neighbor’s house.

Inspect your neighborhood for areas that threaten children’s safety, like brush in a wooded area, overgrown
shrubbery, poor lighting, etc.

At School and Play

Encourage children to walk and play with friends, not alone. Tell them to avoid places that could be dangerous –
vacant buildings, alleys, new construction, wooded areas, etc.

Make sure that children take the safest routes to and from school, stores and friends houses.

Teach children to walk confidently and to be alert to what’s going on around them.

Tell children to avoid strangers who may hang around playgrounds, public restrooms, empty buildings, etc.

Teach children to always take the same way home from school.

Children should not walk next to the curbs.

Children should not play alone on the playgrounds.

Parents should take time to listen carefully to children’s fears and feelings about people or places that scare them or
make them feel uneasy. Tell them to trust their instincts. Take complaints about bullies seriously.

At Home

Children should check in with a parent or trusted neighbor immediately after arriving at home.

Children should carry their house key on them in a concealed place. It should not be left hidden outside the house.

Children should be taught to use the door and window locks and alarm system, if there is one.

Children should know to never allow anyone into the home without the parent’s permission.

Children should never let a caller at the door or on the telephone know that they are alone.

Children must be taught how to escape a house in case of a fire.
Parents should take time to talk to children about the deadly consequences of guns, medicines, power tools, drugs,
alcohol, cleaning products and inhalants. These items should be in a secure place out of sight and locked up.


When home alone, children should be able to easily locate key telephone numbers.

Parents work number(s).
Numbers of relatives or trusted neighbors.
Police and Fire Departments
Poison Control Center


1) Walk or dance with the  baby

2) Rock the baby.

3) Bounce the baby gently in your arms or on a bed. 

4) Take the baby for a ride in the carriage.

5) Put the baby in a swing.

6) Turn up the music on the radio, run the vacuum or let the water run in the tub for a few minutes.

7)  Offer the baby a noisy toy; shake it rattle it.

8) Sing or talk in a quiet, sing-song way.

9) Put the baby in a soft front-carrier, close to your body.

10) Lay the baby tummy-down across your lap and gently rub or tap his back.

11) Massage the baby's body and limbs gently, use a warmed lotion, if the weather is cool.

12) Swaddle the baby.

13) Feed and burp the baby one more time.  Or offer a little warm water.

14) Hold the baby close and breathe slowly and calmly; the baby may feel your calmness and become quiest.

15) Remove yourself and let someone else take over for a while.  If a family member is not available, consider hirng a sitter for a short period of time.

16) If nothing works, put the baby in his or her bed, close the door and check the child every 15 minutes or so, for your peace of mind.




If I had my child to rear over again,

I’d finger paint more, and point the finger less

I’d do less correcting, and more connecting

I’d take my eyes off my watch, and watch

with my eyes.

I would care to know less, and know

to care more.

I’d take more hikes and fly more kites,

I’d stop playing serious, and seriously play.

I’d run through more fields, and gaze

at more stars. I’d do more hugging, and less tugging.

I would be firm less often, and affirm

much more.

I’d build self-esteem first, and the house later.

I’d teach less about the love of power,

and more about the power of love.



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