Divorce isn’t easy for anybody. Conscious divorce is a process and takes time to create new habits in your life. Your attitude and the way you move on is very important in order for make it a smooth ride for you and your child.
Here are a few ideas to journal about, to help you to divorce consciously and to teach some important lessons for your child
What is The message you want your kids to get?
Do you show them how to forgive?
How to love people even if they’re not perfect?
How to set boundaries?
How to work out your problems even if it means walking away?
How to stand up for yourself and make calm decisions?
How to handle the unknown even if it looks scary?
How to accept responsibility and find help when you need it?
Ease the guilt
You don’t need to feel guilty if you decided to go for divorce It is better to have 2 happy separated parent than to live in a controlled environment, where the air is filled with blame, resentment and anger.
Kids are very reactive to their environment and see more than you think. They feel the energy when you argue even if you maintain a calm tone. They read your body language your facial expressions, in fact we all do it.
When parents stay together for the kids it sends the message that you suffer because of them, and this can evoke quilt in the child.
This can end the guilt over divorce and focus on helping you to create a strong relationship with your child, and on a compelling future.
Take responsibility for your part
After divorce take stock of what happened in this relationship, what is repeated based on previous relationships, what is your pattern?
Your willingness to change and take responsibility for your part teaches a lesson to your child. When you stop the blame you can work with your ex as a team, since you like it or not most likely he will be part of the rest of your life along with your child.
Work with your ex
If it is possible work with him. Of course if the relationship was abusive or he isn’t interested to see you and his child anymore that is his choice. In that case explain to your kid that dad needs time alone. At the mean time you’re there for your child no matter what daddy does.
Try to speak positively about your ex, or if it is hard for you don’t speak about him at all. When you shame the other parent you shame the child. Kids don’t see the other parent from the same perspective as you do. Don’t try to make them think the same way.
Work on finding a common ground with your ex and set up basic rules that will apply in both homes. You don’t need to win over your child, and you don’t want them to play you against each-other when they get older. Open communication is important.
If your ex-partner isn’t open to work on the rules, create your own. Tell your kids lovingly and firmly: “I understand you can do XYZ at your dad that is his decision and that is ok, but here we have different rules.”
Understand your child’s needs and behaviour
Sticking with routines and boundaries at this time is very important. It creates a sense of predictability and certainty in stressful, changing times.
Tantrums and crying is normal for a while after separation or even at the beginning of a new relationship. Kids need to go through a grieving process, and if this process was not fully done the new relationship can bring up some unresolved feelings.
In their eyes this is a big issue don’t diminish it. Be there with hugs and listen, let the tears flow. It is hard to give advice what to do or say because it depends on the kids age. Get help from coaching or counselling if you need to.
A kid who’s acting out does not mean he doesn’t like you or your new partner he just need time to adjust.
Behind defiant behaviour can be the feeling of powerlessness. They can feel trapped in a situation when their World is turning upside-down and there isn’t much they can influence. Listen to their needs and spend 1:1 time with each child until they adopt to the new lifestyle.
Here are a few books that can help you further on this subject, and would love to hear your recomodations of books in the comments.