"Throughout this book, I felt Bruce had a secret window into my own life and private thoughts. Many private feelings I am currently dealing with were addressed and revealed in a manner that made me feel it is not only normal, but I am truly not alone in this. I was surprised that I cried while reading it and the comfort that the words brought me. I read tons of self-help books, among other types of books, and this book actually gives me hope and things to look forward to. My tears were from the fact that I am facing the words I read. I have been getting negative feedback from outside sources and these words reassured me not to listen, keep them out of your life and do what is right. The section on the other home/parent opened my eyes and freed me. I did not go into reading this book thinking it would help me on such a deep emotional level." ~Dorothy Justice, Vice Chair-Community Action Partnership

January 20, 2012

Looking Beyond Adversity for the Divorcee with Children

Divorce complicates things. No surprise, especially for anyone whose lived through this process as an adult or a child. It is especially not easy if you and your Ex are not on the same program with the children. It’s important to understand you can’t control the actions of your Ex nor do you want to. You can try to get on the same page with your Ex with active communication about your children, their needs, and their health. Most likely you are not married anymore due to a lack of being on the same page in at least a few areas which may or may not include your children. If you are both actively communicating about your children then that is wonderful; you won’t need to read further, otherwise it may be helpful to read on and learn more.

For those of you who don’t exactly agree with your Ex’s relationship with your children, and you have tried to meet in the middle or on the same page unsuccessfully, you can still build a consistent plan to move forward. No matter what your Ex does with your children (not eating the right foods, too much TV time, no physical or emotional conditioning, no structure or fly-by-the-seat-of-your pants approach, no rules or at least no consistent rules) and court is not an option, you can still manage to stay on track with good healthy decisions. Your children will learn to understand and see and feel for themselves what’s really best.

Start with structure. Build routine into your child’s lives. Allow them to be and feel safe with their new arrangement. Make your children your priority. Find and create as much time as possible with your kids (work it into the decree if possible) whether its coaching, evening dates, doctors wellness visits, etc. Eat breakfast with them. Make dinner together. Find personal time after they have gone to bed. Consistency works miracles. Let your young children see they can rely on you. Allow your children to focus on things that are more important for a child, such as family, friends, school, sports, fun, creating new relationships, and maybe religion.

Chances are your Ex wont appreciate the bright spots you have developed with your children, and especially if she/ he struggle with their own personal challenges. Words may fly or attempts may be made to manipulate your child’s ideas, though stay the course and stay focused on what is important to your children. More importantly do not put your children in the middle. Regardless of what you hear through small lips, stay focused on your gifts as a parent. It doesn’t matter what your Ex says or does, it doesn’t change the fact you are a wonderful caring parent who loves and holds the best interests of your child. Children will grow and mature with your support and guidance. Most likely, by the time they reach young teen, you will have mutual understanding on where stability exists. This is the very platform to foster and sustain a healthy, loving, safe, and secure long-term relationship with your child.

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