Archive for the ‘Child-Centered Divorce’ Category
By Rosalind Sedacca, CCT
When divorce enters a family, everyone is affected. Sometimes the impact on grandparents is overlooked amidst the turmoil involving parents and children. But the affect can be devastating for grandparents who want to help and also stay in the lives of the children they love.
Grandparents often ask me, “How do I help and stay close to my grandkids when we are geographically separated?”
You do that by maintaining and strengthening the relationship you already have. Here are some ways you can stay in the lives of your grandchildren despite the distance between you.
- Create a special Journal of activities that you can share with your grandchildren. This might take the form of a travelogue of places you’ve explored, people you’ve visited, movies you saw and other activities you’ve participated in. You can send them souvenirs from each place as something to show and talk about on your next phone call or video visit. These may include restaurant menus, movie ticket stubs, tee shirts, colorful brochures, post-cards, hats, pens, etc.
- Request the same from them. Let them send you a story about places they visited, parties they attended, school trips, weekend activities or other “adventures.”
- Send an email or text message “of the week” to the kids with a theme: such as the Staying Warm Tip of the Week, Favorite Meal or Dessert of the Week, Pet Trick of the Week, quote from a Favorite Book you’re both reading that week, Joke of the Week, etc. – just to keep in touch.
- Volunteer your time at a hospital, toy or food distribution drive or other event to help needy children in your community so you feel valued while interacting with and bringing joy to other children. Then tell the grandchildren about your activities.
- Make plans to see the same movie as your grandkids on the same day and then schedule a call to discuss the movie together and share the experience in your own way.
- Do the same with chapters of a book so you have scheduled calls planned in which you discuss the characters and share your opinions about their situations.
- Make a weekly or monthly video catching up on your life to send to the grandkids. Nothing fancy required. Have things to show on the video such as playing with your dog, new shoes you’ve bought, a new recipe you’ve tried, a new flower you’ve planted in the garden, etc.
Consistency, flexibility and unconditional love go a long way toward strengthening your bond with your grandchildren. Be there for them. Be understanding when they don’t always respond in the ways you desire or expect. Be aware of the transitions children make as they age and enter different stages of growth and interests. Take advantage of all the blessings today’s technology provides for maintaining communication – and keep your relationship with your grandkids thriving throughout their lives!
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Rosalind Sedacca, CCT, is a Divorce & Parenting Coach and author of How Do I Tell the Kids about the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children — with Love! For her free book on Post-Divorce Parenting, her free weekly ezine, coaching services and other valuable resources about divorce and parenting issues visit http://www.childcentereddivorce.com. To learn more about her internationally acclaimed. ebook, visit http://www.howdoitellthekids.com.
All rights reserved. © Rosalind Sedacca
By Rosalind Sedacca, CCT
In recognition of International Child-Centered Divorce Month divorce experts around the world will be providing free ebooks, coaching services, teleseminars and other gifts to divorced parents throughout January. This is the eighth commemoration launched through the Child-Centered Divorce Network. The featured sponsor is Our Family Wizard, a website designed to help manage shared parenting online.
ICCD Month is dedicated to alerting parents about the effects of divorce on children – and how to prevent emotional and psychological damage to children during and after a divorce.
Divorce attorneys, mediators, therapists, financial planners, coaches and other professionals on four continents will be participating. Their purpose is to promote peaceful divorce, cooperative co-parenting, and educating parents about how to prevent negative consequences for children affected by separation or divorce.
More divorces are initiated in January, following the holiday season, than in any other month. The CCD Network has created a special website where parents can access free ebooks, coaching services, videos, audio programs and other valuable gifts by simply clicking links. The website will be available throughout January at www.divorcedparentsupport.com/ebook.
In addition, parents can find listings of free workshops, teleseminars, webinars and other special events being held during January on the Events Calendar at the same website: www.divorceparentsupport.com/ebook.
I am thrilled that divorce professionals around the world will be joining us to bring a heightened awareness to parents about their responsibility to their children’s well-being before, during and after divorce. Our purpose is education and mistake prevention. We want to encourage mediation instead of damaging litigation, respectful co-parenting, effective communication skills, and guide parents away from common mistakes that scar children, even into their teens.
We can never overemphasize how parental decisions about divorce can affect and scar children – for years – and often for a lifetime. Our resounding message to divorcing parents is: Regardless of your own emotional state, it is essential to put your children’s needs first when making decisions related to divorce or separation! Often that means letting go of anger and resentment in favor of co-operative co-parenting so your children aren’t robbed of their childhood.
For more information about International Child-Centered Divorce Month plus access to all the free gifts and special events taking place in January visit: www.divorcedparentsupport.com/ebook.
You’re getting divorced and you’re angry, resentful, hurt, vindictive or any combination of other painful emotions. You want to lash out, to get back at your spouse or boost your own sense of esteem. Hiring the most aggressive litigious divorce lawyer you can find seems like your smartest choice. Your ex is in for a fight!
If you’re a parent who is thinking along those lines, you’re making a choice you may long regret.
If you choose a lawyer who directs you straight into a vicious court battle, the costs to you will be insurmountable – not only in financial outlay, but in emotional turmoil as well. Think long and hard before you move your divorce battle into the legal system. It is likely to take its toll on every member of your family – including your children – in the most destructive and gut-wrenching ways. It happens all the time. But it need not happen to you.
When you give your divorce outcome over to the courts, you are paving the way to unimaginable stress and frustration compounded by a sense of powerlessness that is hard to comprehend until you are in its grips. As you stand by and watch attorneys and judges make decisions about your life and your future you can’t help but feel violated and helpless. The taste of revenge that you were after can easily turn into anxiety and shock when issues get twisted and victors become victims right before your eyes. The consequences can play out for years, and often decades, to come.
Sadly, your children are not protected from the emotional and psychological repercussions. When custody decisions are made by those who are focused more on financial issues than family issues, children’s needs often get pushed aside in favor of other objectives. Relationships, balance and good will are not prime objectives in the battle of divorce, and the scars on your children’s psyches are often overlooked in the legal blood-bath that ensues.
There are other ways. Better ways. And more ways than ever before to create a divorce that respects the rights of every one in the family.
Before engaging that “killer” attorney, talk to a Collaborative Divorce attorney who specializes in creating peaceful outcomes without going to court. Collaborative Lawyers are trained to use their own special skills along with the aid of financial planners, therapists, mediators and other resources to bring both sides into conversation about win-win outcomes. Children’s needs get high consideration.
Certified Mediators offer another opportunity to create a fair settlement without litigation at a considerable cost savings. Many mediators are former divorce attorneys who have battled it out in court and know there are saner solutions for all concerned. They care about creating peaceful resolutions.
Learn from the lessons and mistakes of others. If you want to save yourself considerable expense – both emotionally and financially – and if you want your children to thank you when they are grown up for creating a civilized, sensible, harmonious divorce – make the right decisions today. Stay out of court. Stay out of the hands of killer attorneys. Stay in the good graces of your children. Create a Child-Centered Divorce – and reap the rewards for years to come!
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Rosalind Sedacca, CCT is the founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network and author of the new ebook, How Do I Tell the Kids … about the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children — with Love! For free articles on child-centered divorce or to subscribe to her free ezine, go to: www.childcentereddivorce.com.
© Rosalind Sedacca All rights reserved.
By Rosalind Sedacca, CCT
For years I’ve been pointing out to parents that fighting around the children does more damage to them than their divorce. When parents handle divorce amicably and put their children’s psychological needs foremost when making all decisions, serious emotional harm to the kids is avoided.
Now a study published in the Journal of Research on Adolescence confirms this perspective. While the focus on this study is on fighting over financial issues, the consequences are basically the same: damage to the children’s well-being.
The study shows that children exposed to constant parental bickering are more likely to be depressed. They are also more prone to expressing other “problem behaviors,” including substance abuse, aggression and poor school grades.
Not surprisingly the study revealed that among parents who were dealing with “money-related chronic stress,” relationships with their children were highly tense and lacking in intimacy. Is the tension related to divorce much different? Can the outcome for children exposed to this tension be any better?
When interviewed about the results of this study, California divorce attorney Joann Babiak had the following suggestions. You’ll notice they are the same advice we consistently offer to parents in the Child-Centered Divorce community because the psychological harm from parental battles is basically the same.
Never battle where kids can see or hear you. Little ears can pick up phone conversations as well as conflict behind closed bedroom doors. “People don’t think about the impact of their words on the little ones who are hearing it,” Babiak said. “I saw one child who just kept eating and internalizing his parents’ conflict. The physician eventually told the mother that this was negligence and that she was creating this stress inside the kid.”
Never play one parent off the other to win your child’s favors. “I’ve seen a lot of instances where the child wanted something and the parent would say, No, you can’t have that because your mother’s not paying child support,” said Babiak. “Does that impact the relationship between both parents regardless of who’s paying? You’d better believe it does.” Bashing or demeaning your child’s other parent hurts and angers children in serious ways. Keep personal resentments personal and don’t use your kids as sounding boards. They’ll resent you for it and pay the price in stress, anxiety, depression and/or aggression.
Never let your children feel unimportant to you. Babiak said she sees countless parents ignoring their children during custodial visits or handing them off to other caregivers so they can work. “The child isn’t sharing time with the parent; they’re just sitting around in the house. If you’re consistently not seeing the parent and enjoying that time because the parent is out in the workforce, that will only increase the conflict.”
Married or divorced, the results of parental conflict or inattention are the same: children wounded on a deep emotional level that can scar them for life. Stress is ever-prevalent in our culture, especially during tough economic times. But our children only get one childhood. Don’t they deserve the very best you can provide for them – your love, your attention and the security of your presence? We don’t need any further studies to acknowledge what we all know … parents are the most powerful role models for our children. Be the person you want them to see and model themselves after. You’ll never regret it – nor will they!
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Rosalind Sedacca, CCT, is the author of the internationally acclaimed, How Do I Tell the Kids about the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children — with Love! For free articles on child-centered divorce, coaching services, her free ezine and free ebook – Post-Divorce Parenting: Success Strategies for Doing It Right! go to: http://www.childcentereddivorce.com.
© Rosalind Sedacca All rights reserved.