Congratulations to Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe for taking the high road when so many in Hollywood choose another path. These two are rising above resentment and vindictiveness for the sake of their children – and in the process they’re setting an example that’s worth public mention.
Three months after their split this couple was seen together attending a school function with their young children. The significance of spending time together with Mom and Dad when kids are experiencing the drama of their parent’s divorce can’t be overstated. It provides support, security and stability at a time when the children’s world is falling apart.
It takes mature parents to move in this direction. Many therapists call it
Child-Centered Divorce. These parents are consciously aware of the emotional, psychological and spiritual needs of their children at this challenging time. They are willing to transcend the personal drama in their own relationship to help ease the way for their kids during and after the divorce.
Witherspoon asked for joint legal custody and primary physical custody of the children. As parents she and Phillippe will have dozens of opportunities to choose whether to create times together as a family unit. Besides the obvious holidays and birthdays, parents in a child-centered divorce keep the door open to other activities, such as sporting events, school programs, recitals, parties, Open School Night, etc.
“Parents in a child-centered divorce put their differences behind them when it comes to “family” time, “ says Rosalind Sedacca, CCT, author of the upcoming ebook, How Do I Tell the Kids About the Divorce: A Fill-in-the-Blanks Storybook To Prepare Your Children With Love! “They’re civil, respectful and totally focused on giving their children the best possible experience when the family spends time together. These caring parents,” she notes, “do not confide their frustrations to their children and, most important of all, they limit venting their anger and distain about the former spouse to conversations with other adults.”
To ask, “How will my divorce affect my child?” is a very courageous question, says C. Paul Wanio, PhD, LMHC, a contributing therapist in Sedacca’s ebook. “This is a time of countless demands when clear thinking and good decision-making are imperative. While at times you may feel like giving up, there are ways to lessen the severity of the negative effects of divorce on your children. Committing yourselves to creating a child-centered divorce is the best way to start.”
Congratulations again to Reese and Ryan. Their efforts are to be commended.
Rosalind Sedacca can be reached at [email protected]. Her free articles and ezine is available at www.childcentereddivorce.com. Rosalind’s new ebook, How Do I Tell the Kids about the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook(TM) Guide to Preparing Your Children — with Love! can be found at //www.howdoitellthekids.com