Spearheaded by Rosalind Sedacca, July is celebrated as National Child-Centered Divorce Month. Her work is dedicated to bringing together professionals including legal experts, therapists, and educators who promote the importance of putting children’s feelings and needs foremost during the divorce process.
Sedacca, a divorced parent herself, stresses that “your children are innocent victims of your choices. They are also relatively powerless and emotionally fragile. If you love them, think before you act and remember to put their needs first.”
Though seemingly intuitive in theory, when it comes to ironing out details for children’s living arrangements, custody rights, and visitation schedule, it can be difficult to keep reactions under control when also dealing with financial and emotional stressors. However, as a parent, despite any negative sentiments, the resounding question in mind should be, “does this best benefit my child?”
When going through a divorce, children need their parents reaffirming love and attention to prevent the likelihood of inflicting emotional confusion and damage. National Child-Centered Divorce Month serves as an important reminder for divorced parents to keep their children’s needs at the forefront of their minds when making decisions that will impact their living conditions.
The following 10 recommendations for divorcing children from the blame are a combination of advice from Sedacca, author of the book on child-centered divorce, and Dr. Vicki, a world-renowned and actively-practicing child psychologist:
- Put yourselves in your children’s shoes.
- Remind them they are not at fault.
- Reassure them that mom and dad will always be their parents.
- Focus on change, not blame.
- Be confident and consistent.
- Validate your kids feelings—this really sucks, (to use their vernacular), is unfair, terrible, horrible…
- Allow them to have any feeling that they have—and express it.
- Allow them to love the two of you.
- Be careful not to put them in the middle, nor have to choose sides.
- Remember: Your kids are not weapons to use against each other. They are precious cargo—to be handled with loving care, no matter what circumstances befall you.
At the end of the day, the child should always be at center focus. There are many healthcare professionals available to assist families during the transitional times of divorce that can help make the experience as smooth and positive as possible. Family counseling and support groups have also known to be incredibly beneficial.
It is important, if you are a therapist or counselor who deals with family therapy and divorce to stay protected with a professional liability insurance plan through CPH and Associates, should a dispute or legal matter arise.