Divorce makes us reexamine the way we perceive a family. You have changed from a nuclear family with two parents to a one parent family. To begin this lesson I would like you to write in your journal about how you perceive parenting.
I think the most important thing in a parent-child relationship is: _______________________________________________________
I want my child to learn these values from me:________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
I believe I can be a better parent if I:_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
I will help my child adjust to this divorce by:_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
• I will work with my Ex so that my child does not feel pulled in two directions.
• I will always put my child’s needs first
• I will not make negative comments about my Ex in my child’s presence or where he/she can hear it.
• I will not try to “buy” my child’s love. I realize I still need to teach my child limits and values in order to be a good parent.
• I realize my Ex will probably parent differently than I. I will not criticize him to my child.
• I will put my personal feelings about my Ex aside when dealing with my child.
• I will respect my child’s need to have contact with my Ex.
• I will admit to myself that I have needs of my own.
• I will expect my feelings to be respected.
• I will not allow myself to be drawn into an argument with my Ex.
• I will do my best to maintain civility and friendship with my ex-in-laws.
• I will THINK before I REACT.
• When I think it is appropriate, I will begin to date and seek new relationships but I will NOT bring them into my child’s life unless the relationship is serious.
• I will renew friendships I had prior to marriage; seek new friends and allow myself to have a social life.
• My child and I will develop our own traditions as a new family.
As you begin your new life with your child, you begin a new family with traditions and new memories that no longer include the other parent. Now the focus will be on you as the provider, the homemaker and the parent.
Use these statements to renew your commitment.
• I will concentrate on taking care of myself. I realize I have been hurt and need to heal. I know that I need to give myself time to recover from the stress of the divorce but I will heal.
• I will make allowances for how the divorce has effected me.
• I will allow myself to talk to a counselor or a support group or a life coach so I can get objective opinions.
• I will not subject myself to my Ex in person on or the phone if I do not feel up to it.
• I will get better; not even.
• I will find a safe outlet for my emotions. If you have a Wii, boxing is an excellent way to work out volatile emotions.
• I realize that I am ambivalent about a lot of my feelings and I will try to make my decisions based on thinking; not reacting.
• I will seek professional help for me or my child if it is necessary.
• I will admit my sadness at the loss of my marriage and my loving relationship.
• I will accept that I must move on to a new life.
In your journal write down the positive things you learned from your Ex during your time together._________________
I realize that blaming myself for the end of my marriage is toxic to my healing.
I make my own destiny.
I will dedicate quality time to my child (and only my child) daily.
I will wait until I heal to make more life altering decisions.
I will wait until I begin to heal to start focusing on goals for the future.
PD Rivers is a freelance writer who spends much of her time ghostwriting for other people who don't have a way with words on paper. "As long as they pay for the material, I don't mind being in the background" she says. She has many self help courses and books to her credit.