In this short video, Divorce Coach Karen McMahon speaks to single moms about the challenging job they wake up to every day. She offers her three best tips for helping your children – and yourself – through the divorce process.
The treasures that you’ll receive from using these three tips is that you and your kids will emerge from the experience in the best possible shape – plus you’ll have laid the foundation for a great relationship with your children as they move from child to adolescent to adult.
Three Tips for Helping Children – and Single Moms – Through Divorce
1. Ask yourself: “How important is it?” when you get triggered by a situation or something your ex-spouse or child says. Pick and choose your battles, notice your triggers and bite your tongue more often than not.
2. Don’t assume that your “good kid” is okay. Your straight-A student may need as much help coping with your divorce as the kid who is acting out. Check in with all your children and make sure their needs are being met.
3. It is impossible to pour from an empty container. Take care of yourself – even if your ex or your kids suggest that you’re being selfish. Make sure you’re high enough up on your priority list that your reserves are replenished; only then will you be able to “pour” your love and support into your children.
If you’re struggling, visit www.jbddivorcesupport.com to find resources, coaching, and support to help you through your divorce and to a new beginning.
Read the transcript of the video below:
Hi, my name is Karen. I’m the founder of Journey Beyond Divorce, and I’d like to talk to the single moms today and just acknowledge and validate what a challenging job you wake up to every day and being a single mom, there are so many difficulties that we face and challenges that we’re shouldering all by ourselves and there’s also a tremendous amount of treasures and gifts that we get along the way.
I am 12 years post-divorce so I just want to share a little bit about my story.
When I first moved out of the marital residence, the children were 7 and 9 years old, and so I’ve kind of parented through those grade school years where it’s physically very taxing and you’re setting up playdates and running from one extracurricular activity to another and squeezing in homework and all of that — to those years of adolescence middle school and into high school where you’re dealing with attitude and snarkiness and peer pressure — and then later into teenage and emerging adult years where there are big kids and big problems and you may have co-parent who’s very cooperative where you’ve learned and managed to get along well and you may not be in a situation where you’re more parallel parenting or just in more conflict with that parent.
And so I just have a couple of tips I’d like to share with you.
So the first one is how important is it?
Because we get triggered.
We can get triggered because our ex doesn’t discipline or feed or clothe the children the same way we do or have the same priorities as us.
And so how important will this thing that I’m upset by be 24 hours or one week or one month from now.
And that really helps me to adjust the way I want to respond if at all to the situation that’s triggering me.
And the second thing is don’t assume that your good kid is okay.
And what I mean by that is many of us have our more high-maintenance child.
I have a son who was ADD and so he had more difficulty going through school, and my daughter was a straight-A student and really easy, really loved using school as an escape from you know, the divorce and the struggles — and so she seemed fine.
And the truth is our children are navigating to households, stress, and difficult personalities and so keep an eye on even the good child and just checking in and making sure that their needs are being met, and they’re able to process whatever is going on.
And then the third one of course, is about us.
It is impossible to pour from an empty well and so take care of yourself and your children and your ex may even suggest that you’re being selfish, but you know best.
Going out with your girlfriends and having a glass of wine or going to that yoga class or having that meditation or prayer time — whatever it is for you that you need, make sure that you’re high enough up on your priority list so that you’re filled up — so that you can then pour into your children.
I have both adorable little handmade gifts as well as acknowledgement and from my children and relationships with them now as they’re emerging adults that all the treasures that have come out of the really hard time, and I know it’s because I was able to bite my tongue and pick and choose my battles that both they, and we emerged as well as we did, and so I wish the same for you.
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