Divorce at Altitude: A Podcast on Colorado Family Law

Co-Parent Coaching with Jackie Deam | Episode 117

July 28, 2022 Ryan Kalamaya & Amy Goscha
Divorce at Altitude: A Podcast on Colorado Family Law
Co-Parent Coaching with Jackie Deam | Episode 117
Show Notes Transcript

Divorce can cause a lot of harm to children, but it doesn’t have to. Joining us today is someone who knows the ins and outs of this topic from a personal and professional perspective. Jackie Deam is a lawyer, mediator, and co-parent coach, who went through 5 divorces between both of her parents when she was a child. 

These experiences, combined with the struggles that saw children facing because of a lack of system-level support, motivated Jackie to leave her job as a teacher to pursue a career in law. In today’s episode, Jackie explains what the role of a co-parent coach entails and why this role is invaluable in helping parents navigate the challenges of raising kids while going through a divorce. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about being “a level of imperfect that’s safe.”

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Jackie shares her personal childhood experience of divorce. 
  • Examples of when divorce harms children and when it benefits them. 
  • The team that you should surround yourself with when you are going through a divorce or separation. 
  • An explanation of what the role of a co-parent coach entails.
  • Jackie’s approach to mediating communication between divorced parents.  
  • Examples of how to be a model of growth for your children. 
  • Why talking negatively about your child’s other parent in front of them is harmful. 
  • The importance of looking after yourself when you are going through a divorce. 
  • Learning to let go of what you can’t control.
  • Co-parenting resources that Jackie recommends. 


What is Divorce at Altitude? 

Ryan Kalamaya and Amy Goscha provide tips and recommendations on issues related to divorce, separation, and co-parenting in Colorado. Ryan and Amy are the founding partners of an innovative and ambitious law firm, Kalamaya | Goscha, that pushes the boundaries to discover new frontiers in family law, personal injury, and criminal defense in Colorado. 

To subscribe to Divorce at Altitude, click here and select your favorite podcast player. To subscribe to Kalamaya | Goscha's YouTube channel where many of the episodes will be posted as videos, click here. If you have additional questions or would like to speak to one of our attorneys, give us a call at 970-429-5784 or email us at info@kalamaya.law.

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DISCLAIMER: THE COMMENTARY AND OPINIONS ON THIS PODCAST IS FOR ENTERTAINMENT AND INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES AND NOT FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROVIDING LEGAL ADVICE. CONTACT AN ATTORNEY IN YOUR STATE OR AREA TO OBTAIN LEGAL ADVICE ON ANY OF THESE ISSUES.

Ryan Kalamaya (3s):
Hey everyone. I'm Ryan Kalamaya.

Amy Goscha (6s):
And I'm Amy Goscha,

Ryan Kalamaya (8s):
Welcome to the divorce at altitude. A podcast on Colorado family law

Amy Goscha (13s):
Divorce is not easy. It really sucks. Trust me. I know besides being an experienced divorce attorney, I'm also a divorced client,

Ryan Kalamaya (20s):
Whether you are someone considering divorce or a fellow family law attorney listening for weekly tips and insight into topics related to divorce co-parenting and separation in Colorado. Welcome Back to another episode of divorce altitude. This is Ryan Callam this week. We are going to be talking about co-parenting. It's a topic that frequently comes up whenever kids are involved. And as many listeners know I was a pretty committed athlete. And so we're gonna be talking about coaching and I love coaching and coaches. And this week we are joined by a co-parenting coach, Jackie Dean.

Ryan Kalamaya (1m 4s):
So we tell you a little bit about Jackie. I've known her for geez, Jackie we'll get into it, but probably a decade. At this point, she has worked in the field of family law for that duration of time, that decade in Colorado and her career started as, this is a teacher in 2003, she went to the university of Florida with a master of education. And we'll talk a little bit about her experience as a teacher of first and fifth grades in Los Angeles. And then after witnessing various issues as a teacher and within the educational system, she decided that she wanted to become a lawyer. So she went to Pepperdine law school in 2009, and worked as an associate with the children's law center in LA.

Ryan Kalamaya (1m 51s):
And while working at the children's law center, she really fell in love with the topic of children who are struggling and specifically foster care children in dependency and neglect hearings and family law. But she fell in love with a guy and moved out to Colorado and took a position as the family court facilitator with the ninth judicial district, which is where I got to know Jackie in the ninth judicial district is Rio Garfield and picking counties. And she worked there for over seven years. And then she ended up moving over to the private side where she provides mediation.

Ryan Kalamaya (2m 34s):
And as we'll hear today, co-parenting coaching. Listen, I could go on and on Jackie, but we'll dig into a little bit about your bio, cuz I think it's helpful for people to understand the services you offer. But before I go on, welcome to the show.

Jackie Deam (2m 49s):
Thanks Ryan. I'm actually a big fan of your podcast. I think not only is it a great resource for clients, but also for professionals in the area. So I appreciate listening. Thank you.

Ryan Kalamaya (2m 59s):
Well, we appreciate you joining and looking forward to the conversation we've gone back and forth. Before we started recording, we talked about, you know, we have kids around the same age and we were talking about summer camps and the logistics involved, but why don't we talk first about your role as a teacher and an elementary school teacher. So can you tell us a little bit about your experience and you know, how that kind of led to where you are now?

Jackie Deam (3m 26s):
Yeah, I mean, I taught in Pacoima Los Angeles, if anyone's familiar with Pacoima and it was an area that was written with violence, unfortunately. And so education really was a secondary experience for a lot of my children. They unfortunately didn't have a whole lot of support from the system or from the school district. And what I noticed is even though I could be there for them for one year as their teacher, I couldn't be there for them long term. And we had kids who would've benefited from individualized education plans. They were falling behind in foster care system. And so I just became so passionate and wanted to do more that I decided, I think law school is the next logical step where I can go into the courtroom and advocate for these kiddos.

Ryan Kalamaya (4m 14s):
Well, and it's interesting Jackie, cuz that you and I have never talked about this, but after college I taught for a year at a really exclusive boarding school in England and it was more for me to travel and, but I also, my mom was a teacher for me. I left teaching after a year because I'm just so intense that I just couldn't, I didn't have the patience for children at that point. But tell me about how you decided to, you know, go to law school.

Jackie Deam (4m 46s):
So I had done some research and found that Pepperdine had a really great special education advocacy clinic and I felt like that would just be home for me. And I'm the type of person that I find one thing and then I get really committed to it. So I only applied to one undergrad and I only applied to one law school. I just knew Pepperdine was my home and I made the right decision. They had an excellent special education advocacy center, but they also got me connected to children's Los center of Los Angeles, which is a law firm that has three different sections that represent foster care children in the Los Angeles system. And Los Angeles has one of the largest foster care needs in the country. I mean with like 60,000 plus children in foster care. And so I started volunteering as an intern and then I took my first job after I passed a bar exam as an associate attorney with them.

Ryan Kalamaya (5m 33s):
And before you even became a teacher and went to law school, you also had some experience with family law through your own personal life. So can you tell our listeners about your own personal background with divorce and why that was impactful or, you know, mattered for you in terms of the career that you pursued?

Jackie Deam (5m 55s):
Yeah. And I really love sharing my perspective as a child of divorce because I feel like it's a voice that's often unheard. We often make assumptions as to what children are feeling or thinking through the process. And we can read all the research and go to all of the continuing legal education classes and talk to experts, but really, unless you've lived it, you really don't know what it's like to be caught in the middle of conflict. Now I have very great, well adaptive relationships with my parents. Now I will say that, but they were not equipped. They were not equipped to act as co-parents first and X is second. They led with the X tendency and it took many, many years of practice because it is a muscle that needs to be strengthened for them to get to a place where they could attend my wedding and be in the same room and it be copacetic, but being a child of divorces five.

Jackie Deam (6m 45s):
So I was part of five divorces between both my parents. It was really challenging, but also it's shaped who I am today. I mean, I always say divorce does not harm and may not harm children. It may be a positive asset for children. It's combat and conflict that harm kids, putting kids in the middle of that communication is what is harmful. But the actual divorce and separation could be really good for your kids. Because as research shows, kids do much better in two homes that are happy and well adjusted and loving than they are. One where all they're doing is witnessing conflict. But if we separate into two homes and continue that conflict, that's where it can be harmful. And I'd love my parents.

Jackie Deam (7m 25s):
I'm very close to my dad. I speak to him multiple times a day. They were young and there wasn't as much research and there weren't as many tools back then to help educate them as to what to do and what not to do. So going through it, myself, very high conflict divorce that my parents had and being in the middle of the communication patterns, I would say, yes, it was challenging, but it really molded me to the resilient, adaptable, flexible person I am today. I'm a mediator and in family law for a living, it inspired me to go into this area of the law. I have a very high functioning, you know, loving relationship with my spouse. And I think a lot of that is because I learned growing up, you know, what was important as part of a relationship.

Ryan Kalamaya (8m 8s):
So Jackie, we'll talk about co-parent coaching, but what would you say to someone listening who would, you know, say, well, Jackie sounds really well adjusted and I heard Amy Ryan's partner. She was a child of divorce and she's a, a successful lawyer. So why do I need to do anything I'm involved in a divorce? My kids are gonna be fine. Why should I care? Because these people that were parent or children of a divorce, they turned out fine. So why should I even have to work? Why can't I just kind of wallow in my anger? Or why does he even matter? So what would your response be to that Jackie?

Jackie Deam (8m 44s):
So true response is one personal one's professional on a personal level. My dad really did not entangle himself in the unhealthy behaviors that my mom did. So unfortunately my mom was not high functioning as part of the co-parent relationship, but my dad was, and he gave me unconditional love. He lived in Massachusetts, I lived in Florida and he would fly to my concerts. He would fly down for one day to attend my plays. He showed up and called me twice a day, every single day. I always share with parents. It's not quantity of time. You have with your parent. It's the quality. So even if I saw him for 24 hours, he was hyper focused on loving me, supporting me. And eventually I got to live with him at age 14 through high school.

Jackie Deam (9m 27s):
And that really helped me with my adjustment in what you see today. So really I have to thank my dad for that. So there was a high functioning co-parent involved. Number two on a professional level. Why do you need a co-parent coach? Part of the reason is you really need a team. You really need an advocacy team and everyone is an expert at something different. But when you're going through something that is as traumatic as a separation or divorce, your frontal lobe is not optimized, right? That decision making center, the impulse control is not optimized. What is in control? A lot of times through trauma or stress is the amygdala, which is being hijacked by these high motions and anxiety that you're experiencing.

Jackie Deam (10m 7s):
So we're not making clear decisions. And so we need a team. We need a team to step it up, whether that's your therapist and I highly recommend therapy, therapy, therapy, therapy, that's not parent coaching. We'll talk about that therapy, a really great attorney like you Ryan, and a team of professionals, like a co-parent coach who can give you tactile tools to be able to co-parent. Well, cuz a lot of times what we hear Ryan, and I know you can agree with this is we have parents come in and say, well, I really can't. Co-parent it's not gonna happen. Like we could parallel parent maybe, but this is not gonna happen. I'm not gonna co-parent. And I understand that and every family is going to be different and have special circumstances. And we're not talking about things like family violence, cuz that is something we have to be really sensitive about, but most families can co-parent and the question is, can I co-parent the question is how well can I co-parent under the individual circumstances of the myself and the other person that I'm co-parenting with.

Jackie Deam (11m 5s):
So the coach is going to make that assessment with you as part of your team and then take care of you as the parent. Because as you know, I'm sure Amy can attest and other clients of yours can attest that when you're going through this really hard process, no one's taking care of you. You're tasked with taking care of everyone else. So my job as a co-parent coach is to take care of you mind, body, soul, and to give you the tools to be able to co-parent well from a level of communication and as a business relationship.

Ryan Kalamaya (11m 35s):
Yeah. Well, and you know, to kind of extend that the sports metaphor that I used earlier today, I am a big fan of the team aspect. And I think a lot of people, they don't realize that when they started divorce and I always, usually I'm one of the first, you know, the divorce lawyer is one of the first, first people and they kinda looked at me skeptically. When I say, listen, I'm a counselor, I'm a counselor at law and I'm a really expensive counselor and you need to have a therapist or a counselor. But I think, you know, having a coach on that co-parenting especially cuz that goes throughout there's the post decree issues. And those people tend to be the ones that need the most, you know, co-parent coaching because they then kind of are in the realm of, okay, we've gone through a divorce, but, and we can talk more about where you fit in.

Ryan Kalamaya (12m 30s):
But you know, having a financial advisor, bringing in those different professionals, I often will tell clients, listen, I'm kinda like the manager at a restaurant. I check in, make sure that the soup is tasting, you know, okay. And is nice temperature because we'll have a paralegal and sometimes we'll have an associated attorney and we each have our role within the legal team. But I think, you know, having a co-parent coach is something I've seen as more and more important. The longer I do this work, this episode is brought to you by our law firm call Gosia Amy. And I describe our law firm as an innovative and ambitious trial team. The pushes the boundaries to discover new frontiers in family law, personal injuries in criminal defense in Colorado.

Ryan Kalamaya (13m 16s):
We currently have offices in Aspen, Glenwood Springs, Edwards, Denver, and Boulder. If you wanna find out more, visit our website, call now back to the show, how would you describe when clients call you or people go through mediation and you talk to them about what a co-parent coach is. Let's first start off with kind of a definition, a working definition, what is a co-parent coach? What is the stuff that you do?

Jackie Deam (13m 47s):
So co-parent coach is with you throughout the entire process, right? And on that team, you'll have people who come in and out, but as we define a co-parenting relationship as a lifelong business partnership and I mean lifelong beyond 18, 19 after the kid emancipates right. So the co-parent coach is not gonna leave your side if you don't want him or her to leave your side. So the co-parent coach starts with, let's get an assessment of where we are currently. I find out the family history on both sides. I can work with both parents or I can work with individual parents. Of course both parents would be the most effective, but a lot of times we can't control what's going on on the other side. So the co-parent coach really helps you just control the controllable, which is you cuz really that's all we have control over our own thoughts, our own feelings.

Jackie Deam (14m 34s):
And then that motivates our own actions, right? So the co-parent coach is then going to take an assessment of where we're at. I do an assessment called hopes and dreams with my clients. So I ask them to list. I have a little imagery that they put this list in. What are your hopes and dreams for your child? Like really look out 5, 10, 15, 20 years. You know, they have a positive self-esteem they're well adapted. They have academic success. They have good peer relationships. They have a good relationship. That's healthy with the other parent and with myself, they have a good sibling relationship. They're well adapted. They're strong, they're resilient. Okay. So we're gonna put all those hopes and dreams. Now what are the actions that I am currently doing that may hinder that hope and or dream?

Jackie Deam (15m 17s):
Because again, we're not focusing on what is the other parent doing? That's hindering the success of our child and the adaptability of our child, but what am I doing? And then we reframe it to what could I do to be a positive influence on my child to support these hopes and dreams. So that's the very beginning of the assessment process. Then once we delve into the coaching relationship, that's where I give you tools and tips of the trade. In terms of here's a communication protocol that I recommend based on the individual circumstances in your family. I hold space for them. I listen, what's really going on. Sometimes our clients really just need to be heard. They need to be heard. And I do this in co-parent coaching and I do this in mediation.

Jackie Deam (15m 58s):
It may slow down the process, but it's gonna benefit the process. They need to be heard and validated cuz they're going through a tumultuous hard time. Once they're heard, we take care of them in let's establish a communication protocol for your family that could look like these are the emails that we're gonna send on a weekly basis. I have one called the transition email when the parent who's leaving the child or the children for the week and hands off is writing this very systematic email with specific subjects that are gonna be covered to update the other parent. And also we work on business meetings, quarterly business meetings. And if you have a high conflict co-parent relationship, you're gonna want the coach to be present for that.

Jackie Deam (16m 41s):
Right? So maybe we jump on zoom and the three of us work on these quarterly business meetings where we're planning out the school year, we're planning out vacations, we're planning out speed bumps because this whole process is being proactive as opposed to being reactive. It's really coaching my clients on being a parent first and an ex second. Right? And so when we read the email that we're about to send off, is it child centered? Does the child care? If the child doesn't care when I'm writing, it's likely not child centered. I can do communication audits so I can help read. Before we send, I can help do an audit of all the communications that have gone back and forth. I help parents with doing shared calendar systems and I have a number of resources that I recommend and share.

Jackie Deam (17m 21s):
It's working with this new business relationship. You show up as a professional in this relationship and it's hard to separate the emotional baggage from a new relationship, but it's possible, but it's sometimes not possible unless you have a team and someone holding your hand through it.

Ryan Kalamaya (17m 38s):
Right? And I think that it's important for people to hear those different types of services because you know, people come to me and they'll say, do you have a recommendation on like a marriage counselor where their kind of relationship is clearly stressed and under kind of duress, but they also, so you know, what you do in meeting parents is gonna be maybe a little bit different than a marriage counselor where they've decided, okay, the relationship is run its course, both parties will tell their attorneys or tell themselves and tell each other that they love their kids. And everyone just acts, you know, your mom, Jackie, for example, loved you and loves you.

Ryan Kalamaya (18m 18s):
And, but her actions, sometimes people just can't get out of their own way and or they don't realize what they're doing. And so I think it's helpful for people to hear that they can go to someone like you, a parenting coach, and kind of really focus on a transition plan and then come up with a communication, you know, protocol. But then that's different than if someone like Eric Wolf, our hypothetical divorce client is just Eric. Melanie's not really willing to engage and he just needs his own work. He can come to you and really talk about, Hey, I can only control what I do.

Ryan Kalamaya (19m 0s):
Melanie sends me this email that just drives me crazy. How do I deal with that, Jackie? So kind of walk us through a little bit more about that difference between the joint co-parenting and the individual coaching that you do for clients like Eric or Melanie Wolf.

Jackie Deam (19m 18s):
Yeah. I will say the majority of my clients are doing the solo, right. They come to me because they need to, because they're working with another co-parent that they're struggling with and that co-parent may not be open to coaching. So when I'm working with a parent on their own, I'll read through the communications that they gimme permission to. Right? So as long as they're not protected by confidentiality rules, otherwise I'll review them. I'll teach them about the power of non-reaction. Right. And then we talk about making sure that we don't draft a response when we're in a heightened space of emotions, right. We always walk away and cool off and I give them tools to do that. And we talk about different co-parenting apps and tools that will slow down the response period, which is good for our clients, right. To slow down and be more thoughtful and be more crafty in how we respond.

Jackie Deam (20m 2s):
That's gonna be child centered and then I'll give them exact language to start out. Like, this is how I would recommend responding. Right. And this is child centered specific language. Cuz a lot of times co-parents will be like, oh yeah, that's a totally child centered response that I just sent Jackie and I'll look at it. I'll be like, okay, we're gonna do the hard work here. Right? We have to face our own inadequacies because if we don't face our own inadequacies, that's gonna trickle down to our children. Right? So what's more important, our own ego or the benefit and the best interest of our children. I think all parents will say the best interest of our kid, the long term interest of our kiddo. So we will do the hard work and we'll dig deep through those communications and I'll like use a highlighter and I'll be like, this is how I would next time respond.

Jackie Deam (20m 43s):
There's no shame. There's no guilt. We are learning like this whole process of separation. Divorce is a page in our story. It's not our story. And I remind clients of that. It's a page. So you're writing your next chapter to co-parent as well as you can. And you need someone to help you through that process. Who's not in a heightened space of emotion, right? I'm calm, I'm collected. I'm a professional. I've been doing this for 13 years. I have the tools. I've read books. I've met with experts. I've worked with thousands of families, a lot of high conflict. And I will take that experience to help just narrow the scope for you. That we actually respond in a healthy way for a whole family.

Ryan Kalamaya (21m 21s):
And I think it's so important. You know, Jackie, that you have this different perspective, the teaching, I mean you are a lawyer, but you have your own personal experience, but you have that focus because people will frequently run their communications by me. But I think you can be a lot more proactive and really focus on that and probably say similar things to me, where it just is gonna click and they might benefit by having that additional resource. The communication part, I don't think people really understand, unless they're an actual divorce attorney, they don't have the perspective or someone like you like a co-parenting coach to understand how problematic communication is during a divorce and after a divorce, when it comes to co-parenting and it's mostly between the parents, but then the worst is the communication with the actual children and how they talk about the other parents.

Ryan Kalamaya (22m 23s):
So can you talk a little bit and give some examples maybe of things that you've seen in your experience in time, or maybe personally experienced yourself in terms of what we're talking about? Because you know, someone listening, everyone thinks that they're, you know, one of the best parents, you know, and that everything that they're doing is gotta be right. But there's obviously this transition that when you have a traditional kind of marriage or even, you know, a really involved set of parents, there's gonna be a change. So can you maybe tell me some examples that you've seen to maybe put it more concrete terms?

Jackie Deam (23m 1s):
Yeah. And first I just wanna address if there's a parent who's co-parenting right now listening, your child doesn't need you to be perfect. Actually, your child needs you to be a level of imperfect and level of imperfect. That's safe because that's how kids are inoculated over the long run. Right. And we model apologies in front of them, whether it's, we are apologizing to them directly. We're apologizing to our co-parent. We wanna be the model of growth, growth mindset to our children that yes we're humans. Yes. We are going to mess up, but this is how I will learn from the situation and I will grow from it and it's okay if they witness you go through that. So if one of the examples we talk about, it's like, oh, I've done that before.

Jackie Deam (23m 42s):
It's okay. It's okay. We can always rectify a situation and heal a situation with a simple apology or explanation to a kiddo. Like mommy sometimes has a hard time and I'm still learning too. And sometimes I do things that aren't right. And you know what, next time buddy, I'm not gonna do that. And I've learned from the situation, I do this with my kids all the time, all the time. Right. And then you'll start to seed them, repeat that behavior with their siblings or their peers. That's really good. Like we don't have to be perfect and neither does your other co-parent. They don't need to be perfect. We're good enough. We're good enough. But that being said, things are really harmful to children are disparagement, whether that's in the email, right? Cause we think, oh, if I disparage the parent in the email, the kids not care about it.

Jackie Deam (24m 23s):
That's false. If I disparage on the phone, I'm talking about the other, co-parent my frustrations. And you know, Charlie's upstairs with his door closed and it's nine o'clock at night. So I'm gonna call a friend or family member and just go off on my ex. I guarantee that child's at the top of the stairs listening. I was that child. I was the child with a glass against the wall, listening to my parents, talk about each other because we are biologically engineered to want to align with both our parents, whether they're good enough parents or not, we are biologically engineered to wanna love and feel connected to them. So when we hear them talking negatively about the parent or we hear the other parent read the email aloud or something comes out like when your mom emailed me about this, that really sets the stressors in a child on fire, right?

Jackie Deam (25m 11s):
Because it's like, well, if, if dad's a bad person, that must mean I'm a bad person because I'm part of him. And I love him. So now I have this cognitive dissonance of, I don't understand what to do or feel, right? So it may be that dad has done something that's really upset mom, but we need to take that time away from the child's earshot to process that in therapy, whether it's talk therapy, EMDR, it could be listening to music that makes you jam out and feel all the emotions when you're alone. It could be calling a friend or family member that's trusted. And someone who you really can have a fruitful conversation with when the child is not present, child's at school, child's with the other parent, there is no risk that the child will overhear this and we will work with that.

Jackie Deam (25m 55s):
So as a co-parent, I may not be there that night, but I may hear a retelling of that. And we'll talk about how we change that situation, the future, or I can read through the emails and be like, I know you think this is private and confidential, but this is likely gonna get to Charlie in some form or another. So instead we're gonna do the positive transition email where we're giving updates and we're asking questions and it's very systematic. So that when mom sends that email or dad or dad let's say sends a transition email to mom about Charlie's updates in school or a question regarding his medical appointment. Then when Charlie's with mom, mom's gonna say to Charlie, Hey buddy, I heard from dad that you got an, a plus on your math test. Like that's so cool, great job.

Jackie Deam (26m 35s):
You worked really hard and Charlie's gonna be like, Ooh, my parents are talking like, that's neat. You know? And it makes them feel more attached to both, both of you, which honestly is what you want. You want that healthy attachment.

Ryan Kalamaya (26m 46s):
Right. And you know, Jackie, I'm sure you can appreciate, you know, the weekly update or the transition email. It's, you know, the Eric Wolf email where he says that Charlie got a C during your time. And he got an a plus during my time, that's like the no-no that's where the editing comes in the editorialization and Eric doesn't realize that he's just as like, well, I'm just being factual. Right? And it's you working with him to see that that is not helpful as just an example. But I do think that kids, they pick up on and you, you know, personally, you know, just referenced it.

Ryan Kalamaya (27m 30s):
They hear a lot more than I think people really appreciate. But the other important thing, they, I think listeners should kind of appreciate or understand is you're gonna have these emotions. It's a matter of what you do with them. And if you are in therapy or you're in counseling, or you have a set like weekly appointment where you can vent and it may be that they send that snarky email to you and then you work with them to kind of revise it where they can just send it to a deleted folder. Just that process could be cathartic, figuring out tools and tactics. That's gonna work with them. But it's, I mean, it's naive.

Ryan Kalamaya (28m 11s):
We're not saying you can't feel these feelings, you can't be angry. People are going to be angry and like, they shouldn't avoid that. It's a matter of what you do with it.

Jackie Deam (28m 21s):
Yeah. And I have a pneumonic that I use with my clients to, you know, the child's perspective is mom, dad, I want you to take care of you so you can take care of me. So when we're going through a time where we're sharing physical custody of our child, and we go through a grieving process of maybe you missing them and having that loneliness empty feeling, when they're gone, we can remain curious when we're alone remain curious. So a few things, as, you know, developing a hobby, going to therapy, doing things out in nature, things that can help heal your soul. But the pneumonic I use with my clients is called be well. And it's a system approach as I'm also a health and wellness coach Ryan. And so in addition to being an attorney and a mediator, I'm also a health and wellness coach.

Jackie Deam (29m 3s):
And I do this with my health and wellness clients as well. But we look at healing, you from the inside out so that when Charlie comes home, you've already taken care of you and you're hurt and your pain, and it's gonna be there for a long time. And we have to lean into that and understand it's not just gonna be healed overnight. And there's no shame in feeling hurt for many, many, many years, but you have to take care of yourself first so that you can take care of the child. Remember parent first, as much as you can.

Ryan Kalamaya (29m 33s):
So what would you say Jackie to and Eric Wolf, who he just wants to control everything. And he's just used to that because he's a successful business owner and he no longer can control Melanie. How do you work with Eric Wolf on controlling the unknown?

Jackie Deam (29m 53s):
You can only control the controllable, which is only yourself. Right? And I really work on that with my clients. We have to control only, but it was within our capacity, which is ourselves, our beings. Me, I can only control me. So we start with taking care of you, healing you from the inside out, and then working on how do we respond to the co-parent and it's okay if you have different parenting styles, it's okay. If you have different routines in your households, all of that is fine and well for children. And if you can't control their parenting style or their discipline, or the way they do bedtime, brush their teeth and have access to technology, a lot of it, you can preemptively take care of in a really well drafted parenting plan, Ryan, as you know, you work with your clients on that, but we can't control everything.

Jackie Deam (30m 39s):
So it's really gaining control over our own household. So if he has this urge to control, okay, let's, let's get your household in order. Like what's the routine gonna be for your children at the transition? What's it gonna be like when they arrive home, how are you gonna handle your emotions when you're, amygdala's hijack from that email that mom just sent you as she's transporting the kids home, like let's work on what's controllable in your household because really that's all that matters. Now, of course, that safety concerns aside, which can be handled with an emergency emotion or action in court. But we're talking just about regular run of the mill co-parenting conflicts that may rise, just control your own reaction, your own routine, your own parenting style, your own discipline, as much as you can.

Jackie Deam (31m 26s):
And I can help work with parents on that very specifically.

Ryan Kalamaya (31m 30s):
Yeah. And I think that kind of another example is Eric Wolf. He might not have been as involved in the day to day. And I think, you know, someone like you without any shame or judgment can kind of create activities or ideas of things, you know, that they can do to be a better parent. And I think Melanie, likewise, you know, you can walk Melanie through as a mom of your, you know, yourself and say, listen, I understand. And I find that professionals that I work with where they can relate to, you know, people based on their own experience. So you can say, Hey, listen, like I have a great relationship with my dad and that, you know, these are the kinds of things that he did.

Ryan Kalamaya (32m 15s):
And Eric Wolf is like, maybe I can call and do what you know, that that's gonna work. And I think a lot of times people do just kind of either shy or bashful or they don't realize that they can, there's just so much, you know, advice and guidance out there. So Jackie, are there any books or blogs or podcasts or other, you know, resources that you frequently find are recommendations that you make as a co-parenting coach?

Jackie Deam (32m 42s):
Definitely because I consume it on a daily basis for my own kids. You know, I have a master of education and I'm a mom of two, and I know a lot about the child developmental stages, which is really helpful to my clients when they're struggling with, let's say a three year old toddler transitioning from mom to dad's home and they're having meltdowns. And I could say, listen, this is what's to be expected in this developmental stage. And this is how you're going to react. And this is how you're gonna communicate. So we can get out of that red zone that the child's in and bring back the child to logic. Right? And so I have that experience to share, but I am a lot, I spend at least one hour a day reading anything.

Jackie Deam (33m 24s):
I mean, if I just did like a view of my office right now, I have just piles of piles, of piles, of books on co-parenting child development, all the things my favorite person to follow on Instagram is big little feelings. Also it's BLS, it's two moms. They do have psychology backgrounds and it's a lot of tactile take home tips on how to respond to your child and how to take care of you as parents. So that's one, I definitely recommend books on positive discipline, positive parenting are really helpful. I have a list of resources that I can give to my clients on these are all the books that I found as a mom are really beneficial and will really benefit you through the co-parenting process and people I follow of course, on social I'll share, but I would say big little feelings, anything on positive discipline, lots of books on brain science of a developing child that I have found really helpful.

Ryan Kalamaya (34m 16s):
Great. Well, we'll have a link to that in the show notes and as well as your bio and website, Jackie, but for anyone that's interested in learning more about co-parenting or mediation with you, Jackie, where is the best place to find you online or reach out to get more information?

Jackie Deam (34m 34s):
Sure. So you can just email me at Jackie JD law, mediation.com, or you can go to my website to book directly online at www dot JD law, mediation.com.

Ryan Kalamaya (34m 45s):
Well, Jackie, I really appreciate the time and the insight, and we'll have to do this again and maybe talk more in detail about specific aspects of co-parent coaching because it's something I am more and more recommending in particular because no one in the roaring fork valley has been really doing this. So I think that for people that really want that in person communication or that experience, that they should reach out to you, cuz it's something that is unique, but you know, people down in Denver, you know, just with zoom and really the comfort level that people now have with that kind of communication through COVID and just kinda seeing a silver lining.

Ryan Kalamaya (35m 29s):
It's something that I am definitely, you know, recommending a lot more because it's just, it's available to people no matter where they are. And, and I think it, it is a necessary component to a team when there are kids involved. So thank you for the work and thank you for the time in joining us here and divorce the altitude.

Jackie Deam (35m 47s):
Thanks, Ryan. I think your client's really lucky cuz you're not only taking care of their legal needs, but you're taking care of their whole person and their whole family. And that's very, very unique in this industry. So I really appreciate that. Thank you so much.

Ryan Kalamaya (35m 59s):
Thank you. Hey everyone. This is Ryan again. Thank you for joining us on divorce at altitude. If you found our tips, insight or discussion, helpful, please tell a friend about this podcast for show notes, additional resources or links mentioned on today's episode. Visit divorce@altitude.com. Follow us on apple podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen in. Many of our episodes are also posted on YouTube. You can also find Amy and me@callam.law or 9, 7 0 3 1 5 2 365. That's K a M a Y a.