1. What is Child-Centered Divorce?
Anyone going through divorce knows it inevitably stirs up charged emotions — some anticipated and others unexpected. And when children are involved, the process is exponentially more complex and challenging.
Fortunately, there are ways to get through it together. Marriages that end amicably are the healthiest for both the parents and the children. That’s why we encourage focusing on creating a Child-Centered Divorce. The goal is to protect your children physically, emotionally and psychologically before, during and long after your divorce. That means being mindful of every decision we make as a parent and how it will impact our kids.
Betrayal, guilt, anger and shame often rear their ugly heads in a divorce. These feelings come with much pain and should never be ignored or taken lightly.
However, your children are always innocent. Even if you’re fighting about the children, it’s never their fault. They should never bear the weight of problems that you and your spouse created or experienced. It’s never in a child’s best interest when you encourage a malicious relationship with their other parent. Or if you speak poorly of them in the presence of your kids. Or if you constantly battle with your ex
As a parent, your role is not to win a popularity contest with your kids. But it is your responsibility to work towards a healthy relationship between both parents. You do this because children do best when both parents are able to love and support them.
2. Divorce has many areas of specialization. What made you focus on co-parenting, and in particular, on child-centered co-parenting?
One day my son came to me as a young adult in his 20s and thanked me for the way his dad and I handled our divorce. I let out a sigh of relief as I was holding onto guilt about the divorce. That experience became a catalyst for me.
I realized I had much of value to share with other parents. That’s when I founded the Child-Centered Divorce Network, became a Divorce & Co-Parenting Coach and started writing several books, ebooks and e-courses on divorcing and later dating as a parent. I believe nothing is more important than positively parenting our children and being a role model for them, especially during challenging times.
3. We say we’d do anything for our kids. So why is it so hard to achieve a child-centered divorce?
Sadly, too much ego, mixed with anger creates the belief we are justified in many negative feelings about our former spouse. And that often blurs our judgement. Without being consciously aware, we use our children as pawns to hurt our ex, prove a point or validate our opinions. We don’t take the time to put ourselves in our child’s shoes and experience the divorce and its aftermath through their eyes and through their hearts.
If we can stop and agree that the children we share are deeply loved by both parents, that gives us a fresh, new perspective. We can then make saner, wiser, more mature and respectful decisions on behalf of everyone in the family during and after the divorce.
While we may be struggling at times as divorced co-parents, we must never forget that we are – and always will be — parents first!
4. Tell us about the amazing and affordable resources you offer divorcing parents.
First, I offer personal coaching services world-wide. I’ve also created several ebooks and e-courses addressing the greatest challenges parents face. These include my signature guidebook, How Do I Tell the Kids About the Divorce? This innovative approach will support you in breaking the divorce news to your children by creating a personal storybook with family photos and relevant messages.
I also have an 8-hour Anger Management For Co-Parents program that integrates relevant content, videos, success strategies, quizzes and more. In addition, I offer my Mastering Child-Centered Divorce 10-hr Audio-Coaching Program with Workbook. I created this program to help you resolve the day-to-day obstacles you face as a divorced parent. You’ll discover the warning signs that your children are having problems, behaviors to avoid, the path to peaceful resolution for co-parenting challenges, effective communication skills, proven parenting guidelines, stress-reduction tips and much more.
All of these resources, and others related to co-parenting, dating and relationships after divorce, can be found on my website under Resources.
5. How can a parent center their child even if they have a toxic, abusive, or combative co-parent? Is it possible?
It’s important to focus on compassionate communication with your child. That means listening more than lecturing. Don’t make them wrong for expressing anger or other deep feelings. Remind them of how much they are valued and loved. They are in a tough situation with minimal coping skills as a child or teen. Consequently, you must earn their trust and prove your sincerity repeatedly.
It helps to have a support system working with you. Caring family members, school guidance counselors or teachers, a Divorce Coach, Therapist, Support Group or other experienced professionals can help you make the best decisions and avoid escalating conflict with a difficult co-parent. Emphasize that your children are not to blame for divorce challenges between their parents. Bringing in an experienced child psychologist may also be advisable for your child’s emotional wellbeing.
6. Finally, since you have decades of experience focusing on this topic, can you tell us one thing you learned recently about co-parenting?
Yes, often children themselves are their parents’ best teachers. Despite my frequent warnings, a co-parent client of mine refused to let go of her anger at her ex. She felt totally justified in hating him for repeated infidelities. So, she badmouthed him to the kids and barely acknowledged dad on child pickup days, at birthday parties or other social events.
It wasn’t until after attending a family gathering that the kids told mom they wished she and dad got along nicely like their cousin’s parents. Mom finally got the message. She met with dad and both sets of grandparents to discuss expanding family respect on behalf of the kids. The co-parenting relationship is far better now and the children are happier than ever!
The more we see the world through our child’s eyes the easier it is to create a co-parenting relationship that honors the children we love!
To get my free ebook, Post-Divorce Parenting: Success Strategies For Getting It Right! visit https://www.childcentereddivorce.com
To access free gifts and resources from Divorce experts around the world during International Child-Centered Divorce Month in January, visit https://www.divorcedparentsupport.com
Rosalind Sedacca, CDC, is a Divorce & Co-Parenting Coach, recognized as The Voice of Child-Centered Divorce. She is thefounder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network which provides valuable resources for parents who are facing, moving through or transitioning after a divorce. She is also the author of How Do I Tell the Kids about the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children – with Love! and co-host of Divorce, Dating & Empowered Living Radio Show & Podcast. Rosalind is an expert blogger for numerous divorce, parenting and dating websites and blogs. Rosalind’s free ebook and other valuable resources are available at www.childcentereddivorce.com.
We at SupportPay are lucky to have learned so much from Rosalind and hope that her organization can help you or someone you know.