Sunday: 02.April.2006

Kids First Co-parenting classes

Started attending co-parenting classes. Program is called Kids First. Hand-out reads: KIDS FIRST is an interactive educational program designed to meet the needs of children whose parents are separated or divorced.

Classes are held in Orange, at the Chapman University campus. Beautiful campus, great architecture. I go every Saturday morning. (Not to be confused with my weekly support group meetings.)

Most people are there (I learned) cuz of court orders. Judge says they gotta go. Cost: $150.

Yesterday, the instructor went around the room and asked everybody to share a little of their story, i.e. why they were there .. as much or as little as they felt comfortable with.

continued

Some shared a lot. Others (like me) shared very little. This part took most of the class, but was cool (cuz misery loves company).

Quickly became obvious that most people there have problems bigger than mine. But I had the youngest child there. (He's only 1 year old.) Most parents there had kids who are 7, 8 or 9. Some were 14 or 15.

Kids go to separate rooms (with other kids of their age group). Four is the minimum age for kids. All stories shared were interesting. Most unfortunate. Some heartbreaking. A few seemed farfetched.

The program lasts 7 weeks. ~20 people in my class. Ex's go to different rooms (wise move). Sure would be interesting to hear each side of the story (both sides).

The one consistent theme I heard is that everybody thinks the *other* partner is the source of all problems in the relationship. The problem is never with them. (I was the only one who said anything positive about my ex.) Interesting how my classroom just happened to get all the GOOD parents. The other classroom must've had all the "bad" ones. =)

It struck me how some of the women there seemed so nice, so agreeable, so eager to work things out, while others seemed bitter, resentful, angry .. ready to 'fight' at the drop of a hat. The differences appeared dramatic.

Yesterday, the instructor talked about how old PATTERNS can influence current behavior. For example, if someone happened to grow up in a home where abuse was prevalent (in one its many forms), experience has shown that they often migrate toward similar relationships .. NOT because that's what they enjoy, but because that's what they find *familiar*.

He also said the ability to identify your feelings and express them is "a BIG thing" .. for both children and parents.

Many participants shared details of judgments handed down by the courts. It became obvious there's no rhyme nor reason to rulings. Every judge sees things differently.

Must admit, when I first approached the registration desk, I felt something of a failure (it was raining) .. like I was here with all these people who can't get figure out how to get along .. who need to have somebody hold their hand and tell them how to do it .. who need remedial training. I've never had a remedial course in my life.

I know it takes two to tango. But I still felt like a failure. And I hate that feeling .. which is why I'm more determined than ever to make this current relationship work.

Anyway, these classes intrude on my Saturdays, but are interesting. Hopefully I'll learn a few tricks I can put to practical use. Can't hurt. Certainly can't make things any worse.

[Off-topic .. BTW - This page is - by far - the *best* article I've read on the physics of nuclear weapons .. the word 'best' here meaning: presenting complex concepts in a way that is easy to understand. Worth the short read.]

Fission is splitting big elements, such as uranium & plutonium. Fusion is putting together small elements, such as hydrogen & helium. Fusion is better, cuz it releases more energy, but is harder to do. The sun uses fusion. Nuclear plants use fission.

The end of the world is likely to come this way. So at least you'll know what's happening when you see it coming. =)

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. For more info on Kids First, here is a Google search pre-configured for the query: kids first co-parenting classes .. for those of you who (like me) just can't get it together.





Posted by Rad at April 2, 2006 11:17 AM

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