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The Surprising Ways Enlightened CoParenting and a Child-Centered Divorce Benefits Parents

In Enlightened CoParenting,™ we shift to a child-centered perspective.  It takes courage to make the shift when we have many different worries on our plate, but there are surprising ways enlightened coParenting™ and a child-centered divorce benefits parents.

What is a child-centered divorce? 

A child-centered divorce is one where parents clearly and consciously create an environment that supports their decision to place their children’s emotional and physical needs at the forefront of their minds when making life-altering decisions related to separation or divorce. We engage in emotion focused parenting and mindful parenting. Yes, this is still possible before, during, and after divorce.

For a more specific list of ways to incorporate enlightened coparenting into everyday life download my free guide 60 Tiny Tips for Healthy Coparenting

Child-centered implies it is good for kids. The underlying often quietly whispered truth is that child-centered divorce profoundly benefits parents, personally and in their role as parents.

I want to keep this real. It does take courage to make the shift amidst the fear and anxiety high conflict marriage, divorce, and coparenting engenders.

You can hear the very real fear in the comments I have heard from my clients, made before they realized the benefits of a child-centered perspective:

"I have to be aggressive or he/she will walk all over me."

"She/He hates me and will take everything and leave me with nothing."

"I have to show the kids this wasn't my fault."

"I let him/her push me around for 10 years and I am not doing it anymore!"

The fears expressed are normal and felt by good people, good parents,  trying to do their best. The thing is, their fears could more readily be managed through a child-centered approach.

Here's why:

When coparenting is peaceful, we actually have more time for following up on financial matters, work related matters, and paying attention to details. 

We have the sense that things are going well for our children when they are with the other parent because we have all invested in making it so. This enables us to make the most of the time for work and personal matters when the children are with the other parent, freeing up the time and space for parenting when the children return home. 

 If you are in the middle of working through a parenting plan and do not yet have clarity on the parenting schedule, download my free Parenting Plan Essentials Toolkit

From this vantage point it becomes easier to deflect the messages our culture gives us that we are failures or selfish for getting divorced.  We can see with our very own eyes that we are good parents.  We can know things will in the end be all right.

Child-centered divorce has continuing benefits for coparenting after divorce. When the divorce is over and we are still vindictively fighting our ex the shame becomes even greater and more harmful. We may begin to wonder why we got divorced in the first place if the fighting has continued. 

Clients often say, "At least I got to have the kids with me all of the time, even if it wasn't a good marriage."  This is when the fear of harming our children from divorce directs shame we thought we had finally conquered back onto us. That shame is as undeserved as ever.

Divorce is the very last alternative for most of us and one we take because we want what is best for our children and family.  We would never want to harm our children but we are left not knowing what else to do. Yet we still feel the need to beat ourselves up over it.  To feel as if we alone have failed at something almost everybody else gets right.  It sounds silly to think this way, what with the statistics and all, but if we are honest this is what we often think.

Try to hear me on this, it is not the divorce that harms children, it is the conflict. When you know that divorce is a tough transition for your children but you are still a family and they will still have a great childhood, you can let go of shame and the exorbitant cost it tolls.

The mental and emotional health of the entire family influences the ability to cope with the drastic changes and pressing concerns that always accompany drastic change.  With a child-centered approach to divorce and coparenting, we do not have to fool ourselves into thinking that in the end we still have the opportunity to give our children a healthy family life. We authentically know it to be true!  That confidence is contagious, it helps children to see that the most important things, your love and caring for them, has not and will not change.


To find out more about the upcoming Enlightened CoParenting™ Course, click here:

The Enlightened CoParenting Digital Course



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