July is National Child-Centered Divorce Month – bringing attention to children’s emotional needs when parents divorce or separate
The second annual recognition of National Child-Centered Divorce Month will take place throughout July across the United States. Professionals who deal with divorce issues — therapists, attorneys, mediators, coaches, educators, clergy and others – will be joining forces to share valuable parenting messages. One of the most significant is: Don’t Make Your Child a Pawn in Your Conflict. Instead, put your children’s needs first when making decisions related to divorce or separation.
National Child-Centered Divorce Month was initiated by Rosalind Sedacca, a Certified Corporate Trainer and author of the new book, How Do I Tell the Kids about the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children — with Love! Sedacca has created a Child-Centered Divorce Network for parents and works closely with a broad group of therapists, attorneys, mediators, divorce coaches, educators and other professionals who focus on creating the most positive and harmonious outcomes for families transitioning through divorce.
“For too long our nation has been negligent in recognizing the respect we owe to our children. This is especially true for parents experiencing the challenges of divorce or separation. We’ve all read the headlines and seen the damage inflicted onto children through divorce gone wrong. In July we need to discuss and demonstrate how parents can do it right.”
Sedacca is passionate about enlisting the nation’s legal and therapeutic communities for one purpose: bringing a heightened awareness to parents about their children’s fragile sense of self-esteem. “We can never overemphasize how dramatically parental decisions about divorce can affect their children – for years – and often for a lifetime.”
Sedacca’s new book is based on her personal experience more than a decade ago when she was facing the difficult task of breaking her divorce news to her eleven year old son. She ultimately created a simple and compassionate storybook, integrating family photos and history, as a successful way to move through the tough conversation.
Now her innovative Create-a-Storybook™ strategy has become a customizable ebook with age-appropriate fill-in-the-blank templates, along with advice from six practicing therapists. The book is designed to keep parents on track with the right messages. Children (ages 5-15) love to see themselves in the family photos and derive comfort from being able to read the book again and again in the weeks and months that follow.
A practicing veterinarian, Sedacca’s son, who was co-parented from age eleven on, wrote the introduction to her book. He was married this past Memorial Day. Both remarried, Sedacca and her former husband were there along with their extended families. Everyone got along beautifully. “I believe there is no greater gift that you can give to a child of divorce than that peace of mind,” she says.
Sedacca attributes most of the negative consequences of divorce to one or both parents making choices that are not in the best interest of their children. “Frequently,” she says, “parents are so caught up in their own drama — in anger, resentment, frustration, grief and other emotions — that they forget their children love both Mom and Dad and in most cases do not want to lose the connection with their other parent.”
Throughout National Child-Centered Divorce Month she wants to remind parents to share some important messages with their children. These include:
• None of this is your fault.
• Both Mom and Dad still love you — and always will.
• Despite the changes in your life, you will be okay because Mom and Dad are handling things
with your best interest at heart.
Sedacca stresses that “your children are innocent victims of your choices. They are also relatively powerless and emotionally fragile. If you love them, think before you act and remember to put their needs first.”
Sedacca encourages all professionals who counsel, coach, teach or support divorcing families to participate in National Child-Centered Divorce Month. Their voices can be heard by joining together, writing articles, offering seminars, sending press releases, getting radio and TV interviews and reaching out in their communities with their valuable insights. She hopes they will spread the word that “when parents divorce, their children need them more than ever. Don’t let them down.”
For more information about Child-Centered Divorce Month in July, visit http://www.childcentereddivorce.com. Rosalind provides free articles, a blog, free ezine and many useful resources for parents transitioning through divorce and beyond. She can be contacted at Rosalind@childcentereddivorce.com.