As we wrap up the holidays and roll into the new year, many of us make resolutions about getting fit. What if this year as coParents we made another type of New Year’s resolution? How about being “parentally” fit?

If we become parentally fit, then we are happier and healthier coParents. More importantly, the singular significant generational impact of becoming more child centric in our parenting decisions is the simple but beautiful fact – kids do better overall when their parents get along acting in civility! Children thrive because of a parental commitment to work at the “business” of coParenting.

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If getting physically fit is the resolution, it will take good old fashion hard work. The requirements to lose the weight, tighten, tone and live a healthy lifestyle are simple. It takes effort, work, discipline and commitment. Likewise, becoming parentally fit requires the same effort. Persistent practices of positivity and healthy parenting habits increase aptitudes in communication, parenting responsibilities and decision making. Resolving to becoming a “fit” parent is the first step in shedding the weight of conflict, miscommunication and destructive patterns of coParenting. Effective parenting with civility is conducive to overall well being and optimal opportunity to thrive.

How do we accomplish consistency in making child centered decisions? Where to begin on the journey of a healthier year of coParenting? Much like training to run a marathon, we can not expect on day one to be at our best racing time. Chances are that after months, even years of bad habits and atrophy, we may end up with an early onset of discouragement. Rather than giving up, dig deep and do it for the kids.

Successfully running marathons or navigating the marathon of rearing children with a coParent is best accomplished by a routine that is consistent. Progressive with adjustments anchored in ongoing practices of integrity. In other words, earnestly striving to be more effective in areas such as communication, courtesy, flexibility, respect and trust with your coParent, in order to become child centered decision makers.

Even when we “hit the wall” as all marathoners do, we push through the discomfort in order to achieve the ultimate goal of reaching the finish line of raising happy, secure, well adjusted, resilient children.

What better resolution can a coParent make than to strengthen family by routinely working out differences and practicing principles of child-centric decision making? For 2017 let’s resolve together to be the best coParents we can be.

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About Hon. Sherrill Ellsworth (Ret.)

Judge Sherrill Ellsworth (Ret.) is the Chief Community Officer for coParenter.

Ellsworth is the Past Presiding Judge of Riverside County, a Judicial Educator and former Family Law Judge.

After almost 20 years on the bench, she has earned a reputation for being a straight-forward, no-nonsense, fair judicial officer. A broadly talented jurist and settlement expert, Ellsworth has effectively handled complex civil litigation cases, family law, felony criminal trials, probate and general trials throughout her almost 30 years of lawyering and judging. Ellsworth was one of the court's most respected and admired bench officers, earning the trust and revere of her colleagues and the lawyers who appeared before her.

In 2014, Ellsworth was named the Lawyer of the year by the J.Rueben Clark Law Society Los Angeles Chapter. Also in 2014 for her Judicial leadership she was named as an Inductee to Western State University Hall of Fame. And from 2012 to 2014, Ellsworth served as a voting member of California's Judicial Council.

In 2013, Ellsworth was awarded the Douglas Weathers Judicial Leadership Award by the California Consumer Attorneys, as well as various awards for her judicial leadership both as Presiding Judge and for Family Law. In 1999, she was named the American Business Women’s Association Woman of the Year for Judicial Leadership. Ellsworth was appointed vice-chair of the California Court Case Management System Justice Partner Advisory Committee in 2010. She was a member of the Strategic Evaluation Committee appointed by the Chief Justice and of the council’s Trial Court Budget Working Group, Trial Court Presiding Judges Advisory Committee, Family and Juvenile Law Advisory Committee, and Task Force on Self-Represented Litigants.