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Category: Child-Centered Divorce
A resource all parents can turn to before, during and after divorce (or separation) for support, expert advice, tools and networking focused on creating an environment in which their children’s physical, emotional and spiritual needs come first when making family decisions.
January is International Child-Centered Divorce Month Join experts in commemorating Child-Centered Divorce Month In the U.S. today nearly 4 out of 10 first marriages end in divorce. Even more significant, 60% of divorcing couples have children, resulting in more than one million kids each year experiencing the divorce of their parents. The consequence of parental divorce takes its toll on everyone in the family. An estimated 25 million children (36%) live apart from their biological father with about 26% of absentee fathers living in a different state than their kids. Close to 17 million children (25%) are living with their single mothers. It may come as no surprise that more divorces are initiated in January than in any other month. A large majority of parents wait until after the holiday season before breaking the divorce news to their children. For this reason the Child-Centered Divorce Network
Rosalind Sedacca, CCT, Founder of Child-Centered Divorce Networki What is a Child-Centered Divorce – and how is that different from more typical divorces? Unfortunately, too many parents approach divorce as adversaries. When child custody becomes a battle, everyone loses. Parents are pitted against each other and innocent children inevitably pay the price. When custodial decisions move into contention, creating a scenario where lawyers, legislation and courts determine the direction of your children’s future, you not only lose power in your life, you lose harmony within your already fragile family structure. When you create a Child-Centered Divorce, your children win – on every level because you put their real needs first and foremost. Parents who make a concerted effort to sit down with each other and discuss the future wellbeing of their kids together, keep their perspective where it really belongs – on the children. Most parents
By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC The Divorce/Separation Path Custody issues are a huge challenge in every divorce involving children. I am a strong advocate of co-parenting whenever possible. However, because every situation is different when it comes to divorce, I certainly don’t believe legislation should determine custody outcomes for any 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 sensitive subject as adversaries. When child custody becomes a battle, everyone loses. Parents are pitted against each other and innocent children inevitably pay the price. When custodial decisions move into contention, creating a scenario where lawyers, legislation and courts determine the direction of your children’s future, you not only lose power in your life, you lose harmony within your already fragile family structure. There is
By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC The Divorce/Separation Path Divorce by its very nature brings up lots of judgments. Most people have strong opinions about divorce, strongly influenced by their own experiences or the programming of their upbringing. You’re very unlikely to change anyone’s mind about the best way to handle divorce when you’re a parent. So don’t try. Your family and friends mean well. They want to support and help you through any crisis. But be aware that along with their support they bring their personal prejudices. These are weighed down by the baggage of judgments that inevitably color their advice. If you allow yourself to be influenced by the well-meant suggestions of these individuals, you may find yourself falling into a deep quagmire of confusion or even depression. No one walks in your shoes or has experienced your history. At the same time, most
By Rosalind Sedacca, CCT divorce consequences for families You’re getting divorced. It’s likely that one or both of you are 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 may seem 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 decision you may long regret. And so will your innocent children. If you choose a lawyer who directs you straight into a vicious court battle, the costs to you can 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 litigation system. It is likely
By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC Divorce catches kids in the middle Is it ever right to consider divorce, especially if you’re a parent? Of course, divorce should be avoided whenever possible. It’s not a solution to marital problems. More like an escape hatch – with no guarantee of a happy ending. If you don’t master the art of fair fighting, using effective communication skills, showing empathy and compassion for the needs of your partner, divorce is not likely to be of value in your life. Chances are you’ll move on to another toxic relationship, bringing with you the same unresolved baggage and issues which are destined to lead to new discord with your new partner. That said, there are sigs that divorce might be the best option for a couple, especially if they are parents. These include: Irreconcilable Disrespect: If one or both partners reach a point
By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC Parents Fighting Around Kids After Divorce So often I am asked: Is it divorce or parental discord that most damages children? More and more evidence points at the attitude of the parents being most influential on the outcome for innocent children. Numerous articles by marriage and family therapist Ruth Bettelheim address this topic in ways that are 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 no worse off than their peers whose parents remained married.” Researchers have found two explanations for this, notes Bettelheim. “Children who have to cope with their parents’ separation and post-divorce
Find the reward in your divorce experience. By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC When we are in the midst of life trauma, like a divorce, it is very difficult to experience anything but the pain, disappointment, hurt and anguish related to that experience. That’s only natural. But very often, in hindsight, we can find meaning, relevance, valuable lessons and insights that were the direct result of those major life challenges. Without that life-altering event we would not become the more resilient, more successful person we are today. Many people look upon that result as the “gift” they received from the experience – the wisdom they gleaned, the turning point they needed to move on to a new chapter in their lives. They look back and can say the lesson was tough, but they don’t regret it in the least. I believe divorce can be looked upon as one
By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC Children are affected by divorce Not surprisingly, guilt is often an integral part of the equation for parents coping with divorce. No parent wants their child to have to go through the turmoil of a parental divorce or separation. This is especially true for the parent initiating the divorce. Sometimes the internal battle over whether to move ahead with the divorce can go on for years before the final decision is made. Complicating matters is the anxiety connected to breaking the divorce news to children and fear of the consequences for each child. Often, parents don’t want to discuss the divorce after the initial conversation. It brings up anxiety about what our children will be saying and reluctance to hear feedback that will produce sadness, anger or guilt in us. In addition, it may also be difficult to listen to negative comments
What is International Child-Centered Divorce Month? 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. January is International Child-Centered Divorce Month In recognition of International Child-Centered Divorce Month divorce experts around the world will be providing free ebooks, video programs, coaching services, teleseminars and other gifts to divorcing and divorced or separated parents throughout January. What is the purpose of ICCD Month? More divorces get initiated in January, following the holiday season, than in any other month. That’s why as a Divorce & Parenting Coach and founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network, I chose January to commemorate International Child-Centered Divorce Month every year. ICCD Month is dedicated to alerting parents about the harm to their children when divorce isn’t handled effectively. Repeated studies show that