Archive for the ‘Guest Experts’ Category
Guest Post by Cindy Holbrook
When couples marry, they believe their love will last a lifetime. Unfortunately, in time, many couples find it difficult to deal with the insurmountable problems that have risen and decide to part ways. Many divorcee’s lay the blame squarely on the ex and harbor anger, hatred and unforgiveness. What they may not see is that their children are paying for their unforgiveness.
You may feel that your ex does not deserve forgiveness. You may want him/her to suffer and experience as much pain as you felt. You may think that forgiving your ex somehow excuses his behavior. However, it is extremely important to understand that your unforgiveness hurts you and may have harmful consequences on your children, while it does not affect your ex much at all.
Countless studies have shown that anger and resentment are toxic to you and everyone around you. Uncontrollable anger or suppressed rage hurts the person both physically and mentally. Anger and hostility create stress in your mind and body and can create a host of physical ailments. Remaining angry at your ex can make you irritable and less patient with your children.
Children are very sensitive and watch everything you say and do. You may think that when you are on the phone giving your friend a step-by-step recap of the latest escapades of your ex that your children aren’t listening. As you speak, your body language and tone of voice tells even the youngest of children that you are unhappy. Furthermore, it is best to think again, if you believe your six-year old is sound asleep in the next room.
A child who is thrown in the middle of major conflict between her parents will develop feelings of fear and insecurity and may believe that she has to choose one parent over another.
A couple that is constantly arguing and putting one another down are incapable of successful co-parenting. Your child will continually be ripped in half, not knowing who to trust or what to believe. According to his research, Neil S. Grossman, Ph.D., reports that stress, insecurity and agitation are significantly increased in children when exposed to ongoing chronic conflict between their parents. While children of parents who remain amicable experience very little stress due to the divorce.
To put it simply, your children are paying for your unforgiveness because a bitter, hurtful, vindictive and depressed parent is not ideal for any child. It confuses them and piles on unnecessary pressure. It also makes a child feel unloved and unworthy, as well as diminishes their self-esteem.
Once you forgive your ex, you are breaking the emotional chains he/she had on you. This frees you up to be a warm, loving and emotionally stable parent. It allows you to have an amicable relationship with your ex that will enable both of you to co-parent while putting the needs of your children first and makes it possible for the two of you to raise happier kids.
Naturally, if domestic violence is an issue and there is a threat of danger, the children need to be protected. However, this does not mean that your actions have to be hostile as well.
Choose to forgive your ex today because your children deserve to have content parents so that they can live more at ease. Forgiving your ex and letting go sets child free to love and have a relationship with both parents without guilt.
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Cindy Holbrook is a certified divorce life coach and founder of CoachingForDivorcedWomen.com. She has coached divorced women and women in the process of divorce for over 20 years. She draws from her experience, having left a 20-year emotionally abusive marriage as well as the knowledge she has gained over the years. Cindy understands your fear, despair, loneliness and confusion. If you are ready to heal, love and find inner-peace sign up for your free e-course “12 Steps to Reclaim Your Life after Divorce.” (please link course to http://www.coachingfordivorcedwomen.com/coping-with-life-after-divorce-newsletter/)
Rosalind Sedacca, CCT is a Divorce & Parentng Coach and Founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network for parents. For her free ebook on Post-Divorce Parenting: Success Strategies for Getting It Right!, articles, blog, coaching services and other valuable resources on divorce and parenting issues, go to: www.childcentereddivorce.com.
Откъде да купя иконаBy Guest Blogger Karen McMahon
We each have fears as we go through the divorce process. Our fears are often based in the unknown. Everything is so uncertain, it is impossible to see around the bend to know what your life is going to look like when you emerge on the other side. So our minds begin to ‘figure it out’. The way we do this is to go to the ‘what if’s’. What if I don’t have enough money? What if I cannot hold down a job and take care of my kids? What if I don’t get to see my kids? What if the kids like my ex’s new partner more than me? What if I am unable to afford decent housing? What if…. The fear can be overwhelming!
When I went through my divorce, I was in sales and had lost three quarters of my clients in one year. I couldn’t imagine how I would be able to move into a home and support my children and a household on my own. I was also afraid that the courts might give primary custody to my kid’s dad. Then there was the fear that even if I could afford a place and have my children, I would never be able to juggle it all. I was so overwhelmed with my fears that I couldn’t think straight. It made each decision I had to make all the more monumental and left me frozen and fearful of destroying my future with each possible wrong decision.The truth is, our worst fears are often unfounded. I often hear people say that they are going to be left homeless penniless and unable to support their families. When we dig below the surface, many of our fears are extreme exaggerations of the worst case scenario. Often times the worst case scenario is not what you are faced with and even if you are, your fears of what that looks like are completely distorted.
How does it serve you to consider the worst case scenario and then exaggerate it to the tenth power?
I would dare to say, not only doesn’t it benefit you; it has quite the opposite effect. You are left paralyzed by fear; not the fear of the unknown, but rather the fear of the unrealistically exaggerated worst case scenario. So how do you begin to turn this around?
It makes sense that you are concerned and unsure of the future. What you do with that concern is the key:
- Acknowledge your fears
- List the possible outcomes — Make sure to list both the positive and negative possibilities
- For each ask yourself,
- How true is it?
- What is another possibility?
- How might I avoid that or How might I insure that possibility?
- What would I have to do to make that a reality?
- Do all that you can to prepare and then trust, hope, take a leap of faith that all will be okay.
We cannot know what tomorrow holds but we can prepare for it as best possible. After that we are left with the option to trust, believe and have faith in the outcome; to hope for the best. The other option is to white-knuckle it with every expectation that our future will be doom and gloom. If you believe that energy attracts like energy, which approach will be more beneficial…fear or faith?
Karen McMahon, Certified Divorce Coach & Master Energy Practitioner, is the founder of KM Life Coaching and co-author of “Navigating Your Divorce: A guide to the Legal, Financial and Emotional Basics,”a free ebook. Karen’s passion is to work with men and women going through the divorce process, helping them navigate the difficulties while focusing on personal growth and embracing the opportunities that lie ahead.
By Guest Expert: Allison Gamble
This topic is well-worth your attention. Here’s an opportunity to talk to your children about meaningful subjects affecting their life and their culture. Don’t take media messages for granted. Take the initiative in guiding your children toward the values, ideals and perspectives that are important to you! Allison makes some significant points for your consideration!
Children spend, on average, three hours a day on digital entertainment. During those hours, your child’s mind is constantly developing, absorbing information and stimulation like a sponge. The way children see life depicted in the movies will shape the way they approach issues in reality.
Divorce is a part of many children’s lives today. The skills they have to cope with divorce are often adapted from the media, and not with the disbelieving eye of an adult. They develop their opinions based off of what they see – “Parent Trap“ says that if I can trick my parents into talking, they’ll fall in love again; “Cinderella” says that my stepmom is evil because she made me do my chores. If they see divorce as a simple act, and a stepfamily as an atrocity, they won’t have the skills to appropriately deal with the issues.
Children do not have the cognitive skills to observe media in a critical manner and evaluate; they simply take what they see at face value and process it as fact. It is important to teach children from a young age that television and movies are fictional, skewed depictions of reality. Children imitate what they see, so if they see children react poorly to a divorce they will respond in the same manner. It then becomes the parent’s responsibility to intervene and give their children the tools and venue to appropriately understand and discuss what they’ve seen on television.
In the 1950s shows such as “Leave it to Beaver” portrayed the stereotypical home: hard-working father, stay-at-home mother, and somewhat rambunctious but good-hearted children. The divorce rate has doubled since the 1960s, tripled since the 1950s. This has become clear in television, as blended families have become more present in entertainment.
Media always strives to reflect common culture, so as more families take a different path, the media shows more and more of these sorts of situations. The media, however, does not always show the whole story: of course, drama sells. People don’t want to watch a perfect family. They want to watch a family more dysfunctional than theirs. Media’s glorification of the negative side of divorce, however, is rubbing off on the impressionable minds of children.
Starting as young as the Disney movie “Cinderella,” marriage, divorce, and stepfamilies have been displayed as dysfunctional and unstable environments. Children get a mix of confusing messages from movies. From “Mrs. Doubtfire,” they learn that Dad will go to unreasonable lengths to be in his children’s lives, and from “Mr. Popper’s Penguins,” they learn that families can just fall back together as easily as they fell apart. If you don’t step in and teach your child the reality about divorce, they may act in an unfavorable way when faced with the situation themselves.
One of the common themes found in the media’s portrayal of marriage and divorce is that marriage isn‘t very important. It proves, in the eyes of a child, that even the smallest thing can be fixed by calling quits. In order to create a more fluid storyline, the complexities of a breakup are glossed over and simplified. In order to do that, the reasons for divorce tend to be simple or flaky. When you translate that into reality, children are going to think these simple reasons are enough to toss a marriage away. Talking to your children can help explain that there is more going on behind the scenes. If your children are old enough to understand more complexity and adult themes, consider watching “Frasier” with them; though Fraiser and Lillith are divorced, they turn to each other for advice, and have no problem saying “I love you.” Their relationship isn’t romantic, but it shows your kids that their parents can love each other without wanting to be married to each other.
Another issue that can arise in the inaccurate portrayal of stepfamilies in the media is how stepparents are usually depicted as evil people who only care about their own children and toss their stepchildren aside. Stepmoms are often portrayed as manipulative women who have fathers wrapped around their little fingers. Movies really draw on the idea of the stepmom replacing the real mom, which only adds to her image as a monster. The concept of a happy and well functioning stepfamily situation is rarely portrayed in the media. “Phineas and Ferb” can be a great jumping off point to discuss positive models of a stepmom on TV.
Occasionally movies will portray a happy stepfamily relationship, but that doesn’t happen often. Usually the child will resent or reject their new stepparent. Often the child’s mother will hate the father’s new wife, teaching the child that if they like their stepmom they will be going against their love for their biological mom. More than often, divorce and remarriage is portrayed as a war and movies only teach children how to play in the game. Try to find TV shows like “Glee” or “Drake and Josh“ that show the blending of two families in a more positive manner. Go old school if you have to, and tune in to the original blended family TV show, “The Brady Bunch.”
A child only knows what you teach them. You, as the parent, need to make a conscious effort to explain to kids that television is fictional. It’s important for you to expose your children to positive experiences to combat the negative media depiction of divorce.
Encourage your children to ask you questions about things they don’t understand in the media, or better yet, watch their shows with them to clarify confusing situations. Don’t be afraid to let your child watch the same age-appropriate shows that their friends watch (though three hours a day might be a little bit excessive). Above all else, communicate with your children to be sure that they understand what they’re watching.
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Allison Gamble has been a curious student of psychology since high school. She brings her understanding of the mind to work in the weird world of internet marketing.
Rosalind Sedacca, CCT is author of the internationally acclaimed How Do I Tell the Kids about the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook(TM) Guide to Preparing Your Children – with Love! which can be found at http://www.howdoitellthekids.com. Her free articles, ezine, coaching services and other valuable resources for parents are available at www.childcentereddivorce.com.
Is it divorce or parental discord that most damages children? Answers are finally coming in!
A recent article by marriage and family therapist Ruth Bettelheim has much to say on this topic that is both relevant and, quite surprising for many. That’s because she refutes common misconceptions about divorce and addresses the real issues of concern.
According to Bettelheim, “Studies conducted in the past 20 years have shown that on all meaningful measures of success — social, economic, intellectual and psychological — most adult children from divorced families are Continue reading “Parental Discord – Not Divorce – Most Damages Children!” »