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Parenting and Divorce: Meeting the Needs of our Children Part 1

Children are a huge source of love in our lives; they can say one sentence, bring a huge smile to our face, and remind us of the innocence of childhood. Children all deserve that time of play, laughter, and fun as they grow up. This blog series addresses what parents and other loved ones can do for children before, during and after a divorce. You can take this information and pass it along or decide to be mentor or positive role model for the children yourself.

happy children feeding ducksChildren are resilient and they will make it through this event. However, I also want you to know that your behavior and the actions you take will have a major impact on your children and their lives. It is very positive that you are reading this blog series. It says that you are curious and that you want to understand how your divorce may impact or has impacted your children.

I have had the opportunity to know many divorcing parents. From conversations with them and research I have done, I identified some questions you may be asking yourself: “What is my role as a parent as I go through this process?” “Why is thinking about the impact of divorce on my children important?” “What might my children be going through during this time?” and “What should I be doing for my children during this time?” I will attempt to answer these questions over the next few weeks.

Why is thinking about the impact of divorce on my children important?

It is very important to put children first during the divorce process. Research suggests that divorce can negatively impact children. We do know for sure that no matter what, divorce creates stress and disruption in children’s lives, which can be minimized if parents take time to understand the impact of divorce on children and what they can do to minimize that impact. In taking time to think about this impact, you are putting your children first.

Parents may not want to think that divorce impacts their children or read blogs such as this one that may invoke feelings of guilt. If this topic does bring up some feelings of guilt, take a minute to realize that taking a step to positively impact your child’s future should never entail any amount of guilt. The long-term benefits to your child will outweigh the feelings of guilt you may have ten-fold. I can tell you with great certainty that if you apply some of the advice put forth in this blog, you will be going a long way in assisting your children through this process.

Divorce is a decision that will impact your family for the rest of your lives. Take a few minutes to understand how you can play a role in ensuring that your children are well taken care of during this process. That is all that they can ask from you or that you can ask from yourself during this time. You have a lot going on, but taking time to think about your children’s needs is probably more important than you could ever imagine.

Shannon R. Rios Paulsen MS LMFT (www.inlovewithme.com) has spent the last 12 years learning, writing, and coaching about self-love. She is a professional life coach and a licensed marriage and family therapist. She is the author of two best-selling guided meditations: The Healing Journey Within: Meditations for Abundance and Love, Volume I (Deserving) and Volume II (Manifesting). She also wrote the best-selling book, The 7 Fatal Mistakes Divorced and Separated Parents Make: Strategies for Raising Healthy Children of Divorce and Conflict (www.healthychildrenofdivorce.com).  Shannon lives in Denver, CO with her Swedish husband whom she met on one of her solo self-love journeys in Thailand.

Stay tuned as we answer more questions in this series.

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