By Rosalind Sedacca, CCT
Parenting during and after divorce can be complex, frustrating and confusing. However, every day parents around the world are coping with the challenges of raising happy, well-adjusted children. There are many factors that influence your effectiveness as a parent. Here we’ll review five factors that play an important role in your pre- and post-divorce parenting success.
Monitor Your Attitude
Attitude plays a crucial part in every facet of our lives and especially when we’re coping with divorce. If you approach your divorce with a commitment to making it as positive an experience as possible on behalf of the children you love, you are on your way to succeeding.
What attitude are you conveying about your divorce? Try to catch your thoughts and the way you speak about it. Are you filled with negativity? Are your days consumed with a “poor me” state of consciousness? Are you attracting and spending time with others who share those sentiments? If so, it’s time for an overhaul in your thinking and attitude.
A Child-Centered Divorce is created over weeks, months and years of attention to positive parenting. It’s never too late to start regardless of how long you have been divorced. The decisions you make today will affect the relationships within your family tomorrow and for decades to come.
Understand the Power of Perceptions
The world is what we perceive it to be. Whether you believe it’s good or bad – you will be right – and create an outcome to justify your belief.
If you perceive yourself to be a victim in your divorce, you will focus on evidence to prove that to be true.
If you instead look upon your divorce as a life experience to learn from, you will derive many benefits and value from the divorce, no matter how much pain is also involved. In addition, you’ll be better able to accept responsibility for the part you played in the process and be more willing to contemplate new ways to live your life in the future that will bring more positive results.
Sadly, it’s through challenging experiences that we grow and learn the most from life. Are you uncovering meaningful lessons for you?
Validate When You Communicate
Remember, everyone wants to feel “heard” and “validated.” That means finding a way to start conversations or written communication with your Ex by stating something you can agree with before telling them all the ways they are wrong, making mistakes, hurting your children, etc.
Look for excuses to say, “thanks” or other words of appreciation, whenever possible. That opens the door to appreciation and more respectful communication down the road.
Pick Your Battles
Your Ex is not your clone. You know the areas of disagreement you both have. Co-parenting is a life-long process. Find ways to battle only over major areas of concern affecting your children’s health and well-being and let go of the more mundane differences. By doing that, you will more likely to be heard and respected when you do have important points to make.
Be flexible and cooperative. By granting favors to your Ex when they ask, they are more likely to grant favors back to you, creating a more harmonious and flexible co-parenting experience.
Look for the Gift Behind the Challenge
There are always lessons to be learned from painful experiences. If you perceive those lessons as “gifts” to you – wisdom and opportunities you will never have otherwise experienced – you can move on from your divorce a better, stronger, wiser person. There is always a gift to be received if you look for it. Those who do are rewarded with greater insight and a more positive approach to every life challenge, even divorce!
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Rosalind Sedacca, CCT, is a Divorce & Parenting Coach, founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network and author of the internationally-acclaimed ebook, How Do I Tell the Kids about the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children — with Love! For her free ebook on Post-Divorce Parenting, free articles and ezine, her coaching services and other valuable resources for parents, go to: //www.childcentereddivorce.com.