So it seems that as we move closer to the first day of school, our focus shifts to our children and how we can successfully prepare them for peak performance this year.
Not only have a heard from many of you personally about how you can help your children through the transition of divorce, but it has been a common theme in all of my client work, groups and workshops.
Therefore, I have decided to share a few thoughts as you prepare your kids for their new school year!
The following “thoughts” are meant for you to contemplate and explore. There is no right or wrong in divorce, only daily improvement and commitment to moving forward!
Remember, every day is an opportunity to begin anew. To make change and commit to a new way of approaching your life…and your role as a mother!
First, the best way to support your children is to support yourself!
It is clear that as mothers, we fear that our divorce may “scar” are children or somehow “ruin” their lives. Mostly, because this is how WE feel.
Children are like animals. Not in a bad way, but rather, they are acutely aware of what is going on around them. They will absorb all that you are feeling and experiencing…even if you try to cover it up with a smile and “forced happiness”.
The best thing you can do to help your children with their transition is to help yourself.
If you are sad, they are sadder.
If you are angry, they are angrier.
If you make excuses and blame, so will they.
They need YOU to be happy, whole and fulfilled. They look to us as their mothers to show them that we can move through difficult situations and still be okay. Take the opportunity NOW to get yourself support and to heal yourself so that you can begin your journey of creating your ideal life and guide them to creating their own.
Second, your focus should only be on that which you can control.
I have learned, through my own journey of self discovery and personal development, to focus only on what I CAN control.
If you can’t control something, then there is no reason to devote one moment of emotion, focus or energy on it.
This has never been more true than in the case of divorce. What your ex does or doesn’t do is not only outside of your control, but it’s no longer your business unless it violates financial obligations and threatens the health and safety of your children. Even if it upsets you or your children.
What you CAN control is your own emotion, words and behavior and creating a life for yourself and your children that is full of joy, fulfillment and abundance. Therefore, you must focus on your life, your home, your environment and your responsibilities.
What you say, what you do and how you act is YOUR CHOICE. You can’t blame anyone…not even your Ex, for your choices. Your children will need to see you assume responsibility for what happens in your life going forward. This teaches them to be accountable for what happens in their own lives.
Third, you ARE a whole family.
Just because you are divorced, does not mean that your family is “broken” or that you are no longer a family. When you make this your “vision” of what you are, it is exactly what your children will feel…broken, destroyed. Is this what you want?
Your family is simply DIFFERENT than it was before the divorce.
Take some time to vision about what you want your relationship to look like with your children.
• What do you want your relationship with them to look like?
• how do you want that time with them to feel?
• what do you want to experience when you are with them?
It is up to YOU to create the experiences that you have with your children. You can create the family that you imagine. Blaming your EX is an excuse not to create the relationship that YOU want with your children.
Create the environment that you want them to have.
Create situations that enable them to feel good, empowered, successful!
You don’t need permission to be the kind of parent that you want them to have!
Fourth, YOU are the parent, adult and role model.
It is now up to YOU and YOU alone to model for your children what you want to teach them.
It doesn’t matter what your ex husband does.
It doesn’t matter what your ex husband doesn’t do.
Your only responsibility now is to be the kind of model for your children that you want to be.
They are looking. Always watching and absorbing what they see. They look to us for how to act. How to react. How to think and how to solve problems.
If you want to support your children, be clear on what your values are and what you stand for.
Be strong in your commitment to those values and how an adult should behave.
We are the ones that will be teaching our children to be strong, confident and fulfilled young men and women. And we do it by our everyday actions and behaviors. What we say, do and act…that is what we teach!
Lastly, the power of language.
There is no greater power than the power of language. We have opportunities everyday to connect with our children around the way we communicate.
If your ex is behaving in a way that causes your child(ren) sadness and disappointment, it is not your problem to solve.
However, it is an opportunity to create a safe and comfortable environment for them to articulate and share with you what they are feeling. They can only do that if you listen without judgement or criticism. They are NOT looking for you to share how much you hate and despise their father, they are looking for a way to communicate their sadness. LISTEN.
Communicate with them through compassion and honesty. They are unhappy, they did not choose the divorce.
But they love you and they love their father…no matter what either of you do.
They are children and your divorce has nothing to do with them.
The greatest gift you can give your children is the language to communicate how they feel and the confidence to share how they feel.
It’s all within you when you step into your Power as a Woman and Mother.
I hope that these “thoughts” have given you something to think about and reflect upon.
The role of a Mother is a powerful one and one that you need no training in! You have it all within you!