Author Archives: Susan Ingram

Children and Chronic Illness: Type 1 Diabetes

Children and Chronic Illness: Type 1 Diabetes By Susan Ingram{4:30 minutes to read} The NY Times recently published a detailed article on how school systems in the U.S. are failing to adequately care for students with Type 1 diabetes. What an eye-opener this was! And it’s because I know quite a bit about this subject that it was even more of an eye opener for me. How did I come to be so knowledgeable about this issue? Here is a little background information.

My son, Scott, who is 29 years old now, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was just 5. Type 1 diabetes is a serious illness that requires insulin to be given by injection (or insulin pump) and frequent monitoring of blood sugar levels. If something goes awry, the child can become unconscious, have diabetic seizures, and in extreme situations, even die.

Curls of Wisdom: Trusting in the Process

Curls of Wisdom: Trusting in the Process By Susan Ingram{3:06 minutes to read} I have naturally curly hair. Of course, in my youth I always wanted long straight locks. The type that when you flirtingly tilted your head would gracefully cascade to the side. Or that you could sweep into a beautiful chignon with just a few flicks of your wrist. But, alas, that was not to be. Thank goodness, I came to terms with this by my early ‘30s, when I started to really enjoy my natural curls.

Now fast-forward a few decades. About a year ago, I had to change hair stylists. (That’s another story!) We curly-haired types know that “The Cut” is everything. My new hair stylist, Elana, was excellent with The Cut, but she had a different way of drying my hair afterwards so that my curls ended up being what I thought were too tight and “un-natural” looking. So…each time after she cut and dried my hair, I would return home and wash it again immediately. Yes, I know that sounds crazy – and I would never admit it to Elana.

Last month when I went for my routine haircut, things happened a little differently.

Can Conflict Be Viewed as an Opportunity?

Can Conflict Be Viewed as an Opportunity? By Susan Ingram{3:06 minutes to read} I can just hear my readers muttering under their breath, “Oh no, there she goes again – talking about how wonderful conflict is.” In fact, several months ago I wrote a blog entitled “Can Conflict Be Good?” In that article, I spoke about productive versus unproductive conflict. For productive conflict to occur, typically there needs to be a degree of flexibility and an openness to understanding the needs of the other party(ies).

Co-Parenting vs. Parallel Parenting: Which Approach Is Best for Your Family?

Co-Parenting vs. Parallel Parenting: Which Approach Is Best for Your Family? By  Susan Ingram{3:02 minutes to read} In my last blog, I talked about some of the challenges that separating and divorcing couples face when they are putting together a parenting plan for their children. Now I would like to explore the two basic approaches that parents can take when creating their parenting plans. One is referred to as Cooperative Parenting and the other as Parallel Parenting.

Just from their names, it sounds like there’s a significant difference between the two approaches. And there is – although either approach can work satisfactorily, given the specific personalities and circumstances of each family. So, as a basic guideline, the first thing that needs to be determined is how well the parents are able to get along, and communicate with each other.

Divorcing Couples and the Parenting Plan Balancing Act

Divorcing Couples and the Parenting Plan Balancing Act By Susan Ingram{3:18 minutes to read} For separating and divorcing parents, often the biggest concern they have is how their children will fare through this difficult process and going forward.

While none of us can look into our crystal ball and predict the future, it is clear from research that the #1 factor that causes harm to the children of divorcing couples is the amount of conflict between their parents. The more intense the conflict, the greater the likelihood of harm to the children.

Why Isn’t Divorce Mediation More Popular?

Why Isn’t Divorce Mediation More Popular? By Susan Ingram{3:54 minutes to read} I believe that divorce mediation should be the first choice for the majority of couples who are separating or divorcing. So then, why isn’t the divorce mediation process used more frequently by couples?

I’ve been pondering this question for a number of years now. My role as chair of the Public Awareness Committee of our statewide NY State Council on Divorce Mediation has helped inform me on this subject, as our organization has tried to bridge the knowledge gap for divorcing couples.

What’s So Special About a Roundabout?

What’s So Special About a Roundabout? By Susan Ingram{3:02 minutes to read} My mind has been focused on “roundabouts” for the past several weeks. This might sound strange, but there’s really a good reason for it. First of all, I happened upon an intriguing article in the NY Times about a month ago on the increasing use of roundabouts in the U.S. And then, over the past two weeks I’ve been vacationing in Europe, which is the ‘birthplace’ of the modern roundabout. So I’ve had an opportunity to see and enjoy many of these engineering designs up-close during my travels.

Are You Really Listening?

Are You Really Listening? By Susan Ingram{2:54 minutes to read} Recently, I came upon the Chinese character for the word “Listening.” I was fascinated to learn that the character is comprised of 5 separate symbols related to listening. The meaning of those 5 symbols is discussed below.


Since our ears are the part of our bodies that enables us to hear sound, they are the most obvious component of listening and typically the first thing we think of. Yet, according to the Chinese, the ears comprise only 1 of the 5 elements. So, continuing on….

Mediation and the Decision to Separate or Divorce

{3:10 minutes to read}

Mediation and the Decision to Separate or Divorce By Susan IngramWhen couples first come to me as their mediator, they know that their marriage or relationship is not working and that they do not want to continue together as a couple.

  • Some tell me they want to proceed to divorce as quickly as possible;
  • Others are more comfortable working out the details of a legal separation and waiting to see how that goes before they decide whether, or when, to follow through with the divorce.

The Children’s Bill of Rights

The Children’s Bill of Rights By Susan Ingram{3:42 minutes to read}

Many of the couples I see in my divorce mediation practice have children. Not surprisingly, I find that some parents are more able than others to keep their conflict separate from their relationship with the children. Understandably, this is no small feat, given all of the emotions, anxieties and fears that can arise during this challenging transition from married to separated/divorced.