Archive for May, 2012
By Rosalind Sedacca, CCT
When famous celebrities like Mel Gibson, Denise Richards, Halle Berry and others battle through a divorce, the stakes are high. Millions of dollars are often in contention, blurring issues related to child-custody and visitation. These couples hire killer attorneys and commit to paying an enormous price — which includes not only hefty legal fees, but a tremendous time expenditure and emotional toll.
Too many non-celebrity couples facing divorce blindly choose this same path – often without considering the reality of all the costs involved. They do not have the revenue to maintain ongoing litigation in the courts. Nor do they have a game plan for putting together the pieces of their shattered family after the legal battles are finally over. Sadly they come to realize that celebrities are usually poor role models. They don’t necessarily make the wisest decisions regarding their children’s best interest as they move through and beyond divorce.
It’s easy to forget that divorce litigation is really a luxury, not a necessity. And it’s often a luxury that results in material success at the cost of familial success. Not only is fighting expensive, it’s often more about ego than concern for the best interest of your kids. The money spent in court fighting over details could instead be used for living expenses or savings toward your child’s education. Those same issues could just as easily have been resolved through mediation or Collaborative Law – and at a much lower price.
Too often the only real winners in family courts are the two divorce attorneys. When you are paid by the hour to keep your client in the ring, it’s unlikely that peaceful resolution is a strong motivator. So it’s go for the jugular – and then let Mom and Dad pick up the broken chards of their lives while creating a workable plan for parenting the innocent children waiting on the sidelines.
When emotions are strained between two parents it’s hard to think about cooperation, let alone aligning yourself with one another on behalf of your children. That’s when an objective party needs to add some sanity and clarity to the mix. Parents need to be reminded that no one knows your children better than both of you. And that’s what Child-Centered Divorce is all about. Do you really want a stranger deciding the fate of your children – or the outcome of how much time you get to be with them? Is it worth the gamble to put your family’s future in the hands of an overworked family court judge? Wouldn’t the advice of professional counselors, mediators or collaborative divorce attorneys – all child-advocates who work toward finding long-term resolutions that work for everyone in the family – be a wiser (and more cost-effective) choice?
How do you think your children want Mom and Dad to handle decisions affecting their family after divorce? What will you say to them when they are grown adults and question your choices? Are litigation battles really in your family’s best interest? Think long and hard before you answer. Your children will thank you!
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Rosalind Sedacca, Founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network, is the author of How Do I Tell the Kids about the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children – with Love! To learn more about the ebook, visit http://www.howdoitellthekids.com. For free articles, her free ezine, coaching services and other valuable resources for parents, visit: www.childcentereddivorce.com.
подаръциCommunication with our children is always important, but never as essential as when they are touched by separation or divorce. Children are vulnerable and easily frightened by changes in their routines. The more you talk to and comfort them, the less stress and anxiety they’ll experience. This is the time to reassure your children that you are taking care of matters and everyone in the family will be okay. Then, of course, take responsibility for doing what needs to be done to assure their well-being.
Here are five important ways you can help your children to thrive during and after your divorce.
1. Strive to keep as much normalcy in your children’s lives as is feasible. Maintaining relationships with friends and neighbors provides a sense of stability and continuity. Keeping children in the same school and remaining in the same house, when possible, serves to remind children that life is still going on as usual in many ways. That awareness makes it easier to adapt to the other changes happening at the same time. Always make decisions based on their emotional security.
2. Make spending time and attention with your children a priority. With all the stress in your life it’s easy to overlook your kid’s need for stability and security. The best source for that is you. It’s easy to take solace with friends or bury yourself in work, but your children need you more than ever right now. Your love and attention are the most valuable resources you can share with them. Make sure you are generous with both!
3. Talk to your children about ways to discuss the divorce with their friends and extended family. Coach them on answers to probing questions from the outside, such as, “I don’t know. My mom and dad are working on that.” Or “You’ll have to ask my mom about that.” Do whatever it takes to remember that your children deserve to have and keep their childhood. Let them be kids. Never burden them with adult responsibilities or communication.
4. Seek out other families who have experienced divorce as part of a new network. This can provide support and new friends for you as well as your children. They will appreciate meeting other kids who know what they are going through and can share feelings and stories. School guidance counselors may be able to help you find support groups, clubs or other gatherings.
5. Don’t wait for emotional or behavior problems to appear. It is often wise to talk to a family therapist in advance about issues to be aware of. Or schedule a few sessions with your children so they can express their anxiety, fear, anger, etc. and feel “heard” by an objective third party. Ask friends, pediatricians or school professionals for referrals to therapists experienced with divorce.
Some days you may want to hide in a closet or under the blankets in bed. So may your children. But they can’t always express what they are feeling and why. It is your responsibility to be diligent in protecting your children — emotionally as well as physically. Keep the doors to communication open as non-judgmentally as you can. This will go a long way toward helping the children you love get through these challenging times with the best possible outcome.
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Rosalind Sedacca, CCT is a Divorce & Parenting Coach and author of the internationally-acclaimed ebook, How Do I Tell the Kids … about the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children — with Love! For her free ebook on Post-Divorce Parenting: Success Strategies for Getting It Right!, her blog and other valuable resources on divorce and parenting issues go to: www.childcentereddivorce.com.
© Rosalind Sedacca, CCT All rights reserved.