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 Co-parenting your children after divorce should never be a competition between parents. It’s not a game and there should be no winners, except for the kids! Nor should there be any losers, because that’s a loss for the kids, as well. Co-parenting is all about mind-set. How you approach it. What your goals are … and how you play day by day. Competition creates toxic parenting Competing co-parents put their children in an awkward situation. Kids are cajoled, manipulated or even bullied into feeling they have to choose sides. It’s hurtful, damaging and insensitive to subject them to that emotional turmoil, even when subtle. Steer clear of the “good parent/bad parent” mentality. You’re both in this together – for your lifetime! Think CO-PARENTS in the most positive possible way. Co-parent to fit your unique family Co-parenting can be enormously challenging. There are no rules for how
By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC Because divorce is such a complex life experience it’s rare to find it realistically portrayed in film, TV or theater. Too often we see over the top drama, unrealistic circumstances or vindictive escalations more motivated by viewer ratings than thoughtful, meaningful dialogue. Surprisingly, the Netflix original movie, Marriage Story, is an excellently portrayed divorce story. It stands apart for addressing parental divorce with jarring authenticity. The beautifully written, emotionally compelling script focuses on a believable family. Both parents are facing universal challenges that escalate in understandable, organic ways. The stellar celebrity cast play their characters with nuanced sensitivity. We recognize their confusion. We relate to their pain. We resonate with their decisions and all the known and unseen consequences that emerge every step of the way. The film begins with both partners putting together a list of what they liked and appreciated most about their spouse.
Divorce catches kids in the middle By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC If you’re a parent, divorce doesn’t end your relationship with your former spouse. It only changes the form in some specific ways. It is still essential to create a working relationship focused on the optimum care and concern for your children. Every co-parenting relationship will be unique, affected by your post-divorce family dynamics. However, there are guidelines that will enhance the results for children in any family. Here are some crucial points to keep in mind to maximize your co-parenting success. Respect your co-parent’s boundaries: Chances are your former spouse has a different parenting style than you, with some conflicting rules. Rather than stress yourself about these differences, learn to accept that life is never consistent and it may actually be beneficial for your kids to experience other ways of doing things. Step back from micro-managing
Children affected by Divorce Co-parenting after divorce is never easy. This is especially true when you have a contentious relationship or if your ex-partner is not cooperative. You will be subject to a tremendous amount of stress about your ex-spouse’s parenting skills, as well as the financial needs of your child. Dealing with divorce is hard as it is; throwing the challenges of co-parenting into the mix will make it extra hard. What Is Co-Parenting? Co-parenting is a unique arrangement between two ex-spouses who have a child together. When you go through a divorce, one is left to gain custody of the child. Regardless of who has custody of the child, both parties are responsible for caring for and providing for the needs of the child or children. In a normal situation, both parents are expected to play an active role in the development and growth
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 Let’s face it, divorce impacts everyone in the family. But it doesn’t have to scar your children if you remember to put their emotional and psychological needs first when making crucial decisions. Keep in mind that every decision you make regarding your divorce will affect the wellbeing of your children in a multitude of serious ways. Of course, the emotional scars are not only harder to see, they’re also much harder to erase. Here are 6 clear ways to avoid scarring or wounding your kids as you move through your divorce and transition into your new life afterwards. 1) Stop conflict and fighting around the kids! Studies show time and again that it is conflict and tension around children that creates the most difficulties for them related to divorce. It’s not the divorce itself! That means parents can ease the process for their kids by eliminating
By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC Judges and others in the divorce judicial system mean well. However, they are burdened with too many cases to unravel the complexities involved for each family. That leads to serious complications, injustice and errors. Consequently it is wise to do everything you can to stay out of court when settling child custody issues and disputes. Based on speaking to many family law attorneys I believe that situations work out best, long-term, when decisions are made by the parents themselves rather than being left to the legal system. Most parents continue to co-parent their children after divorce. Except for circumstances where children are at risk, both parents have the responsibility to put the their children first by working out a parenting plan that is in the children’s best interests. Having trouble agreeing on a plan that works for both parents and the kids? Remember: If you are
By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC Divorce catches kids in the middle 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. Many studies I've read about over the past decade all come to the agreement that children are more negatively impacted by parental conflict than by divorce itself. 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
By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC Parenting following a divorce can be complex, frustrating and confusing. However, every day parents around the world are coping with the challenges and raising happy, well-adjusted children. As founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network I’ve found that there are many factors that influence your effectiveness as a co-parent. They begin from the inside out. In this article we’ll review some of the major keys to insuring a more successful co-parenting outcome for you and your children during and long after your divorce. Co-parenting is a life-long endeavor. When you master the skills suggested here, life will be better and more rewarding for everyone in the family. And that’s a goal worth attaining! 1: WATCH YOUR ATTITUDE Attitude plays a big part in the success of any Child-Centered Divorce. If you approach your divorce with a commitment to making it as positive an experience as possible for
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