By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC Parenting plans and contact schedules are an important part of divorce proceedings. They help create a semblance of routine in this new chapter of family life for divorcing parents. I am a strong believer in co-parenting whenever possible to serve the best interest of your children. But not all couples can work together with civility and harmony. So sometimes parallel parenting becomes the plan, meaning you both parent the children but with minimum communication between one another. Keep in mind that your kids pick up on the emotional energy around their parents and life after divorce is smoother and easier for them when their parents behave maturely and responsibly. However you work out your shared parenting plan, it’s the day-to-day challenges of post-divorce life that puts all co-parents to the test. Here are 5 important ways to ease the transitioning between homes process for everyone
By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC I received the following question which poses many challenges related to divorce and parenting. While there is never a one-size-fits-all answer to relationship questions, I’m sharing my response with you as a perspective worth considering. This may be useful to initiate conversations with your former spouse and children or for discussion with a therapist or divorce coach if you are seeing one. I am divorced for a short while, after being separated for several years. My 16-year-old daughter is awful to me and she yells "I hate you" and even curses at me even in public. I am sure she blames me for leaving her mom, but my other two children (boys, one older and one younger) seem to be dealing with the divorce fine. My problem is that I have no control over discipline. I would never speak to anyone the way she speaks to
By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC For years I’ve been pointing out to parents one clear message. Fighting around the children does more damage to them than their parents’ divorce. Serious emotional harm to the kids is avoided when parents handle divorce amicably. And when they put their children’s psychological needs top of mind when making all decisions. Many studies over several decades confirm this perspective. They show how and why 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 these studies have revealed significant challenges for parents who are dealing with "money-related chronic stress." For those parents, relationships with their children were highly tense and lacking in intimacy. Add the stress related to divorce and the outcome for children exposed to this tension increases exponentially. When interviewed about
By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC Most parents don't know how to talk to their children. It's one of the underlying reasons for parent-child communication, respect and trust issues within the family dynamic. You wouldn't think one would need to be reminded to talk to your children. Unfortunately, many parents need just such a reminder -- especially in today's mega-paced culture in which just sitting down to a family dinner together seems to be a major accomplishment. Too often busy parents find themselves talking "at" their children, but not "to" them. And most especially, not "with" them. This, of course, is problematic in any family trying to raise socially, emotionally and spiritually healthy children. However, it is especially dangerous if that family is facing the challenges of divorce or separation. If your parent-child communication skills and rapport is not optimal before discussions about divorce or family lifestyle changes come up, the likeliness
parenting after divorce By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC Accepting the reality and finality of divorce can be a tough challenge. We need to be able to let go of the life we knew and prepare to face an unknown future. That can be intimidating. Here are 5 key steps to accepting your new reality with grace, peace and positive expectations for a happier life ahead. Especially if you’re also a parent! 1) Focus on yourself -- not on your former spouse We can’t ever undo the past. But the past can undo us -- if we’re not careful about our thoughts, beliefs and actions. The only one we can ever change is ourselves. Don’t waste valuable time pining about the past, blaming your ex or wishing you had done something differently. Focus instead on how you can transform yourself today into the person you most want to
By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC When faced with divorce, at some point you need to have the dreaded “tell the kids” talk with your children. To prepare and support them in the best possible way, it's best for both parents to have the conversation together with the children. Take your time, be empathic, and be sure to include these 6 crucial break-the-divorce news messages: OUR DIVORCE IS NOT YOUR FAULT. Parents need to understand that most children, regardless of their age, will feel guilty and believe they hold some blame for their parents’ divorce. Parents need to remind kids often, in different ways, that they are not responsible, even when the parents have been fighting about the children. Your kids are always innocent and need to believe this. Don't let them try to "fix" your parental problems, as we all know they are powerless to do so. And it’s not their responsibility. YOUR
Communication with your child is essential. By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC As a divorced parent, what lessons and behaviors are you modeling for your children? The messages you convey will influence your children into adulthood. Here's valuable advice on leaving a positive imprint on the children you love! Bad things can happen to good people. Divorce is a prime example. Good people get divorced. Responsible people who are loving parents get caught in the decision to end a loveless or deceitful marriage. The consequences of that decision can either be life affirming or destroying, depending upon how each parent approaches this transition. Parents who are blinded by blame and anger are not likely to learn much through the experience. They see their former spouse as the total problem in their life and are convinced that getting rid of that problem through divorce will bring ultimate resolution. These
Rosalind Sedacca, CDC As The Voice of Child-Centered Divorce, my mission is to support parents and collaborate with divorce professionals in making the best decisions regarding the emotional and psychological effects of divorce on children. I’m a divorced parent as well as a Divorce & Co-Parenting Coach. I’ve experienced all the insecurities, anger, fears and anxieties that come with divorce. Like you, my primary concern was minimizing any negative effects on my child — not only in the months ahead, but in the decades to follow, too. I learned a lot about mistakes to avoid, smart steps to take and skills to learn — which I want to share with you – all on behalf of the children you love! So you can make the best decisions every step of the way. Parents: Divorce Doesn't Have To Emotionally Scar Your Children I believe that it is not
By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC We all know that one of the biggest divorced parent “don’ts” is putting down or disrespecting your children’s other parent to them. Clearly, while it’s tempting to badmouth your co-parcoment for the way they’ve hurt you in the marriage, venting to the kids puts them in a very uncomfortable position. They love both of their parents and don’t want to hear from you about the ways your ex misbehaved or initiated your divorce. There’s another element in this conversation that doesn’t get as much attention – but certainly needs to be addressed. And that’s the “guilt factor.” It’s based on your forbidding or discouraging your children from expressing love or talking about their other parent around you. Kids naturally want to talk about their lives. They like to share things they might have done with their other parent, especially the fun times. Very often our expressions,
By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC Over the past few years there has been a strong movement towards 50/50 post-divorce parenting arrangements. It’s often referred to as shared parenting. In many regards this approach to co-parenting may be the best custodial situation for most children of divorcing parents. I am a strong advocate of shared parenting. It worked very successfully in my own divorce. However, I do not believe it's the right or only answer for everyone. That’s because every situation is different when it comes to divorce. I don't believe legislation should be determining uniform custody outcomes for every family. These are issues that caring, conscious parents should be deciding together with only one goal in mind - the very best interest of their children. Unfortunately, too many parents approach this issue as adversaries. When child custody becomes a battle, everyone loses. Parents are pitted against each other and innocent children
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