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Hope 4 Hurting Kids

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Editor’s Note: Cop-parenting is hard. If you have kids from divorced homes in your ministry (and you do), then you also have parents who may be struggling with the right way to co-parent those kids. As a children’s ministry, you need to be prepared to offer advice to those parents which is the purpose of this article from Rosalind Sedacca.

imageWhile moving through divorce can seem like an insurmountable obstacle, for many parents it is just the beginning of a new and equally intimidating challenge — co-parenting your children. Hats off to all of you who have chosen to remain in your children’s lives as co-parents. It means both of you care deeply about your children and want to continue raising them in the least-disruptive possible manner.

Of course not all parents can share the parenting process in this way and for some couples it is not the ideal situation to even attempt it. But those couples who are determined to co-parent and choose to live relatively close to one another so as not to disturb the school, sports and other related schedules of their children, certainly deserve credit and acknowledgement.

pdf to share leftThis is a complex topic that can’t be glossed over with a few simple how-tos. It is based on sincere levels of communication and a sense of trust between the former spouses. When handled with care, your children enjoy the security and comfort of being with their other parent when they are not with you. You are less dependent on strangers as caretakers in their lives, and that is a win-win all around.

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imageParenting alone can be a tough journey when one doesn’t feel well. Most single parents will continue to go to work when they don’t feel well. They do this so they can save their sick days for when their child is sick so they can stay home with that child. But, what happens when the single mom or dad is really sick and they need help?

I know there were a few times in my single parent life when I got sick, but I never had to be hospitalized or face a life-threatening situation. I would like to think had that happened my church family would have stepped up and helped. But do churches do that for single parents?

pdf to share leftI know of one single mom that faced cancer. She had a four-year old child. During her cancer she came to know Christ as her Savior through our church reaching out to her. When she found out the cancer was terminal she reached out to our church and to me more than she called on her non-Christian family. Here are some things she liked for us to do: Continue Reading…

Is Divorce With Kids Selfish?

In this insightful article, Lee Block explains why divorce with kids is selfish.  She explains:

Divorce is selfish by necessity when you think about it. No matter what, someone gets hurt. If it isn’t you, then it is your kids and if it isn’t your kids, then it is your ex, but in the end, someone has to pay the price. The question is, who can adjust the best?

If you work with children of divorce, it is important that you understand the perspective of the parents as well.  Reading this article will give you a glimpse into the head of one divorced mom.  Reading through the comments will reveal a wide variety of excuse making and pent up anger.  Either way, it will be very educational.

Click here to view the article.

Editor’s Note: In this article, Rosalind Sedacca addresses one of the questions we hear most often from parents – What do I do when the other parent treats the kids different than I do. Whether it is financial issues or concerns over discipline, you need to be prepared to answer these types of questions if you work with children from disrupted homes.

imageAs a Divorce & Parenting Coach I continually get asked questions from concerned parents. One of the questions recently sent to me focused on an issue that many divorced parents face with mounting frustration. It had to do with this woman’s ex-husband treating the children to lavish gifts and trips when he has them, while Mom is struggling financially. She added that she is aware that she shouldn’t say anything negative to her children about her ex, but she was finding it difficult in the face of her circumstances. The question, of course, was what can she do about this?

pdf to share leftIt’s impossible to provide a specific answer when the so many of the circumstances are unknown in this situation. How often is Dad seeing the children? What kind of relationship does he have with them when he is not there? Is he angry about not sharing custody? Is he resentful towards Mom regarding other issues? Is he aware that she is struggling financially? Does he care? Is he trying to show her up and influence the children away from her? Or is he oblivious that his behavior is creating an issue for her? Is he aware that he may be spoiling the children? Does he think he’s being a wonderful Dad?

I’m sure you’ve thought of several other questions that are relevant to this situation. In so many cases there are no black and white answers to these types of problems – and certainly no simple solutions. It’s all about shades of grey, trying to find a common ground, a means of communicating your feelings and concerns in a way that doesn’t put the other person on the defensive, making them wrong and therefore no longer interested in a dialogue.

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Editor’s Note: In this article, Rosalind Sedacca offers advice for parents on how to make school an ally of their child after a divorce. As those who work with kids, we should be prepared to assist parents who may ask us for this type of advice.

imageReturning to school after their parents’ have separated or divorced can be difficult for any child. You can ease the transition, however, by opening the door to the many resources available to you through the school. The key here is in forming a cooperative relationship with key personnel.

Making your child’s teachers aware of a major change in your home environment is helpful both for them and your child. That’s because school is really a second home for children in our culture.

pdf to share leftRegardless of their age, children can’t be expected to turn off their emotions during or after a divorce any more than their parents can. Fear, insecurity, shame, guilt and other emotions are usually triggered when a parental marriage ends. These complex feelings can affect a child’s focus, self-esteem, relationships with their friends as well as their academic performance.

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imageMany divorcing single parents seem to get stuck in dealing with finances, in relationships, in the past, in helping their children and in many other ways.

Have you ever thought about how to get those single parents unstuck? I just had a long conversation with a single mom who feels like she is stuck and can’t get unstuck. She has reached out to her church where she is a member. She has reached out to the church where she attended DivorceCare.

One of the Christian women said to her recently, Continue Reading…

QuestionUnfortunately children of divorce have a lot of questions to ask but many times they don’t know whom to ask. When they do ask, many are told lies or maybe not really lies but half-truths. Children need the truth not lies or made up stories.

I have always advocated that children be told the truth on their developmental level. Never should they be told sordid details about the other parent. Single parents need to protect the child and the other parent’s image. The other parent is just that – the child’s other parent. The child is not the one divorcing you or the other parent.

When parents are in the throws of divorce it is hard not to criticize the other parent to anyone who will listen. Children do not need to be listeners for their parents. What they need are simple and truthful answers to their questions, not a list of all the wrongs committed for the past many years.

pdf to share leftRecently I’ve been reading the book, “Generation iY” by Tim Elmore (Poet Gardener Publishing). I highly recommend this book for anyone working with children and teens today. In this book he talks about the lies adults have been telling this generation. He gives a list of reasons why adults tell lies.

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imageWhen a couple divorces, many times they try to keep it quiet. It might be they are embarrassed or feel it is their private business. More than likely though, they are so overwhelmed with the many decisions, they don’t think about telling other people.

A lot of times schoolteachers or childcare teachers are the last to know. Many parents just don’t think about alerting these people. Schoolteachers and childcare staff are the very people that need to know because they are the ones a child spends the most time with when away from home.

If you are a children’s minister how can you help the single parent know what to tell the child’s teachers about the divorce?

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Editor’s Note: In this article, Rosalind Sedacca offers advice for parents on how to stay close to their kids following a divorce. As those who work with kids, we should be prepared to assist parents who may ask us for this type of advice.

imageDivorce is a time for disconnect. It’s not uncommon for you to feel alone, rejected and insecure in the months following your divorce. So can your children. It is important for you to strengthen your bond with your children during this time of transition – whether you are living with them or apart.

Children want to know they are still loved, valued and cared about. Show them, tell them and keep in close communication with them – during the happy times and the sad ones. They need to know they have a safe place to turn, a shoulder to cry on and a non-judgmental ear when they need it. If divorce has been tough on you – remember it’s even tougher on them – whether they confide that to you or not.

Here are five important ways to reinforce your connection with the children you love.

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