I had Janet Price of JP Coaching and Consulting on the show this week. Janet does most of her coaching work with co-parents going through divorce. Janet was then the best person to ask this question of. The discussion went as follows:
Being chid-centered means looking at divorce life through the eyes of your child. Recognize that your child is a person with needs and wants that may be different than what you think your child needs and wants.
Being child-centered means that you understand that your child is also under a lot of stress during and after the divorce. For instance, the co-parenting schedule that has been chosen by you and your co-parent may not be what your child can handle. It may be too much moving back and forth between homes. Ask your child how he/she is doing with the schedule and if your child would like any modification of the schedule. Being child-centered means your child gets to have a voice in how his/her life plays out without fear that they may be saying the wrong thing in voicing their wishes.
Being child-centered means that the communication being you and your co-parent is positive, non-judgmental about the other parent, no snide remarks, no putting your child as a messenger between you and your co-parent, and no authoritarian behavior towards your child if your child makes a choice that establishes your child’s independent view of life.
Being child-centered means to figure out a way to deal with your co-parent if your co-parent is a high conflict personality. High conflict personalities are frequently narcissists, sometimes sociopaths, maybe bi-polar, or a range of other behavioral issues. Keep in mind that people with personality disorders don’t choose to e this way. They are either born this way, or have learned this behavior from their childhood family and don’t really understand why they do what they do. Bill Eddy has written 30 books on dealing with a high conflict personality to the extent that you can live calmer and with more control around a high conflict person with communication approaches that have been proven successful.
Being child-centered means that co-parents have to be sensitive to continuing to create a sense of family in what is now two households. Your child has two homes, not daddy’s home and mommy’s home, but “my two homes”.
Being child-centered means that parents have to grieve away from their children, not in front of them. When parents grieve in front of their children, the children will try to “fix” their parents, and this sometimes leads to parental alienation: The child will choose the grieving parent over the other parent, thinking that the other parent is bad because one of their parents is so emotionally distraught that they aren’t functioning without crying, being angry frequently, or speaking about the other parent in a disparaging way.
It is unbelievably difficult to go through divorce without grieving. Grieving is a must in order to let go of the past. But there are many ways to grieve without involving your children: Therapy, support groups, exercise, crafts, learning a new skill, all things that develop positive energy to change the trajectory of your emotions to being hopeful, healthy, and eventually joyful over your new life..
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Biography of Janet Price
Janet Price is the CEO of JP Coaching & Consulting, Inc and Founder of Divorce & Thriving Beyond. Janet is a Certified Divorce Specialist and Conscious Co-Parenting Coach who empowers loving parents to rise above the ‘crazy making’ by keeping their kids out of the middle and moving from surviving to thriving!
Janet is passionate about supporting parents divorcing & beyond, transition from the ‘intimate partner relationship’ to their ‘Business Partner Relationship called: The Kids’ so that the children are free to: love both of their parents and be loved by both of their parents.
To Learn More about Janet’s Practice go to her website:https://jpcoachingandconsulting.com/divorce-beyond/
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