Learn how to Support Teens Through Divorce & Co-Parenting Challenges By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC We all know divorce is tough on families. Everyone is affected, especially the children. In most cases, the older the children, the more complex the reaction and more difficult the adaptation. There are many reasons why. Older children have a longer history in the former family unit, regardless of how healthy or toxic it has been. Perhaps they remember better times when both parents interacted with them and each other with more joy and harmony. Even if there were no good times to look back upon, teenagers were accustomed to the existing family dynamic, knew their place in the structure, and felt a sense of comfort in “what is.” Resisting change is a natural part of being human. For teenagers that resistance is compounded by a tendency to test boundaries and rock the status quo. Divorce or
By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC We all know co-parenting can be challenging. And when communication breaks down, it can lead to conflict which negatively impacts the entire family. That’s why, as founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network, I was so impressed when I learned about the new Co-Parent Hub. It’s a solution designed to eliminate many of the interactions that cause strain in co-parenting relationships. The creator of Co-Parent Hub, Alex Pelli, sums it up by saying, “We stop the fighting before it even starts.” How? By making communication MUCH easier! When you sign up, you get a Co-Phone and a Co-Email that you put on file with the school, pediatrician, dentist, sport coaches -- even parents of your kids’ friends. When they need to get in touch, they use that info and Co-Parent Hub will route the call/text/email to BOTH co-parents at the same time! This means no missed messages and no
Divorce conflict hurts kids! By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC Divorce is a highly emotional topic. When children are involved the consequences are far more dramatic - and, not surprisingly, so are our opinions. I know there are many people who sincerely believe that no divorce is a good divorce. That children are always and inevitably harmed by the physical and emotional separation of their parents. And that parents should - for the sake of the kids - just stick it out and not rock the boat with divorce or separation until the children are grown. This is a particularly prevalent view for many grown children of divorce who have felt wounded. They've experienced the dramatic life changes that come with divorce and feel permanently scarred as a result. Simply staying together can scar children too! Their response is certainly understandable. But it's not the final word
By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC Alcohol addiction can dramatically affect any co-parenting relationship, jeopardizing children’s safety and impacting the parent-child relationship. That’s when Soberlink comes into play. It’s been a trusted solution for co-parents for over a decade, providing two crucial benefits: it helps parents prove their sobriety in custody and alcohol cases and helps improve the safety and well-being of their children. Proving Sobriety and Rebuilding Trust Soberlink is a remote alcohol monitoring technology. It’s specifically designed to assist parents who have struggled with alcohol abuse or have been falsely accused of alcohol abuse. By using this device, parents can provide concrete, court-admissible evidence of their sobriety. Consequently, Soberlink helps to rebuild trust between co-parents while protecting innocent children. Soberlink’s high-tech breathalyzer device offers advanced features such as facial recognition and tamper detection, ensuring the integrity of each test. The innovative system also provides real-time updates, promoting swift intervention to
By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC Many caring parents I speak to admit to feeling tremendous guilt during and after their divorce. It's easy to understand why. Parents who are aware of the emotional toll a separation or divorce can take on their children feel torn about whether they made the right decision. Are they being selfish in moving ahead with the divorce? Will this experience psychologically scar their children for life? Will the kids ever forgive them - or their other parent - for initiating the divorce? Are they making the right decisions regarding co-parenting, visitation, communication and discussing all related issues with the kids? These are valid questions to ask yourself. The answers should be seriously considered before making any move in the direction of divorce. However, divorce is never a black and white issue. Changing the form of a family unit doesn't necessarily mean destroying the family. Or the
By Rosalind Sedacca CDC Divorce, like life, is rarely neat and packaged. This is especially true for divorcing parents. The reality of divorce comes with challenges. Unexpected twists, constant frustrations and times of utter helplessness when children act out or pull away. Here are three important tips for coping and responding when your children are venting or lashing out. Or perhaps, expressing their own frustrations about being caught up in a family adjusting to separation or divorce. 1. Diffuse blame Some children, especially pre-teens and teens, may blame one parent or the other for the divorce. Sometimes they may be correct in this interpretation. Especially under situations they have been aware of for years (alcoholism, absent parent, domestic violence, etc.). Other times they side with one parent as a result of their prior relationship dynamics with that parent. Regardless of why you or your spouse are blamed, keep your cool.
parenting after divorce By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC Parenting plans are a commonly used tool for managing co-parenting post-divorce. It helps both parents coordinate their parenting, their lives and their relationship with one another following divorce. In its simplest form a parenting plan puts in writing the agreed upon schedule both parents have created regarding most all parenting arrangements. It outlines the days, times and other details of when, where and how each parent will be with the children. It also addresses other agreements both parents will follow in the months and years to come. The purpose of the plans is to determine strategies that are in the children’s best interest to create smooth, easy and positive transitions. These plans encourage cooperative co-parenting so that the children feel secure, loved, wanted and nurtured by both of their parents. Plans can vary in depth and scope. Often, they include
By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC Over the years there have been endless studies on the effects of divorce on parents and children. Some of the results are controversial. Others seem to be universally accepted as relevant and real. Here are a few of my perceptions from studies on children who experience divorce that I believe all of us, as parents, should take to heart. Use your post-divorce time ahead wisely Not surprisingly, the first two years of divorce are the most difficult. In some cases it takes an average of three to five years to really "work through" and resolve many of the issues and emotions that come to the surface. For some, the effects of divorce last many additional years -- or even a lifetime -- if not dealt with appropriately. Taking steps toward acceptance, responsibility and preparing for happier times ahead give your life new meaning. It can also
By Rosalind Sedacca CDC Discipline is always a challenge for parents. Regardless of their age, your child may inevitably find ways to act out, challenge your authority and test the limits of their boundaries. Often these behaviors create tension and disagreements between both parents, which children are good at exploiting to their advantage. This, of course, is the time for Mom and Dad to forge a solid bond of agreement regarding their approach to discipline. If they do, the child is less likely to test the waters and more likely to alter their behavior into more appropriate channels. When separation or divorce takes place, disciplining children can become even more difficult, especially if both parents are not on good terms regarding parenting their children. Parental discord can open the door for children to move into behavioral extremes, pitting you and your former spouse against each other. We've all seen the
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
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