Divorce and Parenting: Teaching Valuable Life Lessons to Your Children

Parents Talking To Kid

By Guest Writer: Rosalind Sedacca, CCT

As a divorced parent, what lessons and behaviors are you modeling for your children?

The messages you convey will influence your children into adulthood.Here’s valuable advice on leaving a positive imprint on your innocent children.

Bad things can happen to good people. Divorce is a prime example.  Good people get divorced. Responsible people who are loving parents get caught in the decision to end a loveless or deceitful marriage.

The consequences of that decision can either be life affirming or destroying, depending upon how each parent approaches this transition. Parents who are blinded by blame and anger are not likely to learn much through the experience. They see their former spouse as the total problem in their life and are convinced that getting rid of that problem through divorce will bring ultimate resolution. These parents are often self-righteous about the subject and give little thought to what part they may have played in the dissolution of the marriage.

Parents at this level of awareness are not looking to grow through the divorce process. They are more likely to ultimately find another partner with whom they have similar challenges or battles and once again find themselves caught in the pain of an unhappy relationship.

man-on-laptop-by-a-lakeThere are others, however, for whom divorce can be a threshold into greater self-understanding and reflection. These parents don’t want to repeat the same mistake and want to be fully aware of any part they played in the failure of the marriage. Self-reflective people ask themselves questions and search within – often with the assistance of a professional counselor or coach – to understand what they did or did not do and how it affected the connection with their spouse.

These introspective parents consider how they might have behaved differently in certain circumstances. They question their motives and actions to make sure they came from a place of clarity and good intentions. They replay difficult periods within the marriage to see what they can learn, improve, let go of or accept. They take responsibility for their behaviors and apologize for those that were counter-productive. They also forgive themselves for errors made in the past – and look toward being able to forgive their spouse in the same light.

These parents are honest with their children when discussing the divorce – to the age-appropriate degree that their children can understand.They remind their children that both Mom and Dad still, and always will, love them. And they remember their former spouse will always be a parent to their children and therefore speak about them with respect around the kids.

By applying what they learned from the dissolved marriage to their future relationships,Friends giving advice these mature adults start the momentum to recreate new lives in a better, more fulfilling way. From this perspective, they see their former marriage as not a mistake, but rather a stepping-stone to a brighter future – both for themselves and for their children.  When you choose to learn from your life lessons, they were never experienced in vain. Isn’t this a lesson you want to teach your children?

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Rosalind Sedacca, CCT is a relationship seminar facilitator and author of the new e-book, How Do I Tell the Kids … about the Divorce?A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children — with Love! The book provides fill-in-the-blank templates for customizing a personal family storybook that guides children through this difficult transition with optimum results. For free articles on child-centered divorce or to subscribe to her free ezine, go to: http://www.childcentereddivorce.com

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To Match or Not To Match – Is that the right question?

It is possible for people to be fulfilled, happy and prosperous, and to be connected to a partner, spouse, or kindred spirit with whom they can travel through this life.

The reality is that not all couples are a match for that kind of relationship.

However, it doesn’t mean that relationships that are not a match for that kind of lifelong relationship are necessarily “wrong” relationships. There is more than what meets the eye – in a physical sense. Mostly we make decisions from a limited array of ‘senses’ – sight, touch, smell, sound, taste. But there is a whole universe of senses that go beyond these physical senses.

Call it what you will – ‘the universe,’ ‘the Light,’ ‘God,’ ‘the Holy Spirit,’ etc. There is a force, a power that, when connected with, you and I are abundant in our abilities and acquisitions beyond what we could otherwise accomplish.

Unfortunately we are not always aware and connected to that force.

Fortunately we can always connect to it, at any point. It’s never too late. That force is never going to be gone and unavailable.

When it comes to couples matching, often times people come together with a particular set of needs, whether they’re cognizant of those needs or not, and pick a mate that fills those needs. Part of those needs could include a particular spiritual life lesson and growth, to move on to what is next in a spiritual sense. Once those needs are met, often times the relationship, you could say, is expired.

Commonly, people have already married or committed in common law “till death do us part.” So when there are problems between them they either fight to resolve them with no success, ignore them hoping one day they will just go away or give up and blame something – themselves, the other person or some external source – for the unviability of the relationship, which they say was the cause of the break up.

Unfortunately that kind of thinking doesn’t leave either person responsible for the fact that they picked that person, for whatever reasons they did.

In this type of mentality, people remain stuck in their limited view of themselves and life. The view that is only possible contained inside of the physical five senses we are most familiar with.

What can you do in this situation?

It is important to investigate the underlying purpose that brought the two of you together. For example, you may have a particular life lesson you need to learn with this person. And, until you learn that lesson you will keep having the same situations occur over and over, until you finally learn the lesson.

Once you’ve discovered the underlying purpose of your union, there are two ways you can explore this situation and determine what is next.

It may be that there are no further lessons to learn with this specific partner. It may be that your union has fulfilled its purpose and it is time to part ways, each one continuing separately on their journey with new discoveries and developments.

A second possibility is that the type of relationship you have been in is expired and it is now time for a new type of relationship, with your partner. That would mean “burying” the relationship – give your respective eulogies of appreciation for what the relationship gave you while it was alive, and send it on its way. Then, with a new opening in front of the two of you, create a new type of relationship with a purpose that you are both inspired by; Then, together step inside and live out the day to day creation and fulfillment of that relationship.

Either approach takes courage, confidence and trust. Both are simple. Neither is particularly easy. But, relationships are not about being ‘easy.’ Relationships are about giving you a place to grow and transform as the other person provides a mirror to reflect back on you what you need to see, in order to learn and grow.

I invite you to celebrate your relationship with this perspective in mind…

 

 

 

Should I Stay or Should I Go? How to make the right choice about your relationship

Separation is not always the right next step for people who experience difficulty in their marriage. While that may seem like an obvious conclusion to make, in reality not all separating people live that way.

Based on my experience as a practitioner who coaches people considering separation and those who are already separated or divorced, as well as through my research,* many divorces are a result of a knee-jerk reaction to a problem or challenge in the marriage. That reaction is either immediate, such that when there is an incident that presents a challenge one party reacts with the decision to end the marriage. The knee-jerk reaction can also be after a period of time where there is a recurring issue or several issues that are not talked about openly, but rather harboured or hidden or simply not dealt with effectively, until one day it becomes “the last straw” resulting in a reaction to separate.

When people separate as a knee-jerk reaction it makes it difficult for the couple to pursue an amicable process. What many couples do not realize is that separating or divorcing doesn’t mean “getting rid of the other person.” It ultimately means altering their relationship.  When the couple has children, they move from “married” to “co-parents.” Or if there are no children involved it may be a transition to “business partners” if they owned a business together. And, if it is not about the new relationship one is creating with the ex-partner, it is one’s future relationship that the past habits will affect.

So what is the alternative to the knee-jerk? Assuming there is no abuse involved where someone’s safety is at risk, stop and talk. Before you make your choice, talk to a trusted, objective person about the issues.   This may also sound like an obvious conclusion but it is often forgotten when one is emotional about their situation, and in some cases they’ve made decisions in their mind and are already virtually out the door of the marriage. Having another perspective on the matter can provide a sense of ease and peace of mind while also opening up new ideas for how to deal with the issues at hand.

Who should one talk to for support? It could be a friend or a family member. While that can be a good start or even a full solution for some to gain clarity about what to do, even the most intelligent and rational friends or family members can be emotionally attached themselves, thus providing a skewed perspective. Another trusted person may be a therapist, counselor or Psychologist that one is already seeing or have seen in the past.  A more recent approach to dealing with these matters is to speak to a Coach or Mentor who specializes in family matters. A Coach or Mentor is someone who is dedicated to their clients creating the ideal picture for their family life, and then guiding them to take the actions that will move them toward fulfilling that picture. Ultimately the ideal person to speak with would be the spouse or partner themself, and for many they need a support person to help them do that. Some people may be surprised that they discover a new passion in their current relationship.

How one deals with answering this question of whether to separate or not will set the foundation for their future relationship – either with their current partner or with a future partner.

Listen to my FREE One-hour Teleseminar where I offer my 4-step Process to make a choice with peace and ease.

http://ds1.downloadtech.net/cn1086/audio/40347679571228-001.mp3?inf_contact_key=c8a4c9d6630377566d77df8034d3d0543cc91bcbf7844eee1e0fc94fba8c8d97

Leave a comment or ask a question below…my pleasure to answer.

* Completed Master’s Degree in Adult Education with a focus on “Creating Peaceful Divorce & Family Forever,” 2010, Ontario Institute for the Studies of Education /UT