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Parenting in the Rain, Episode  6 

Parenting Through the Pain of Divorce with Jared Defife, Ph.D.

In This Episode:

 

  • The guest expert, Dr. Jared DeFife helps people share their life stories to find meaning, connection and understanding.  
  • Jared is the host of the amazing podcast, The School of Psych on iTunes and http://www.schoolofpsych.com
  • Parents often wonder how they can help their child when they are hurting themselves.
  • Blame mode can leave people feeling exhausted without access to experience the change they desire.
  • Sometimes parents choose to seek out their own therapy through a divorce to help themselves, as well as help them to parent through the painful times that divorce can sometimes bring.
  • The divorce process can be a time that people can use to explore areas that they can change about themselves.
  • The time right before and after divorce can be sometimes the most painful.
  • Focusing on personal change is a focus worthy of time.
  • When people are feeling emotional pain, they will sometimes do things and act in ways that are not typical of their character. 
  • It is important for parents to get the support that they need during a divorce to help them best be able to cope and parent in a healthy way.
  • Bashing and blaming the other parent to the child could be confusing and painful for the child.
  • Demeaning, trash talking, and bashing the other parent can be destructive.
  • Children may be feeling a variety of feelings during a divorce: positive and negative.
  • How parents handle the divorce is a huge factor of how the child responds and their capacity to heal. 
  • Sometimes children feel like a divorce was their fault.  Letting them know that children can’t make divorces happen and the can’t make it not happen.  It is a choice between the adults.
  • Helping kids cope through the divorce is a focus worthy of time for the parent and the child.

 

  • Divorce can put strains and stresses on a family, but it doesn’t have to be high conflict.
  • Jared mentioned the 3 Elements (Stages) of the Divorce Process

1. Making the Decision 

2. The Divorce Process

3. Afterwards

  • After a divorce, parents still need to remain together as co-parents by working together to figure out a way to solve problems and work together as co-parents of their child(ren).
  • There are challenges and opportunities around each stage of the divorce process.
  • People can use their divorce experience as a “call to rise to the challenge of working together amicably”.
  • Discernment counseling can help people when one member of the couple isn’t agreeing with the other couple in regards to pursue a divorce or not. 
  • A place of indecision for too long can be painful and destructive to the relationship.
  • Discernment counseling can help people attain clarity and confidence about the decision of divorce in a healthy timeframe.
  • The decision of divorce should be surrounded by a deeper focus on values and commitments.
  • Sometimes there are deep levels of conflict in relationships that may be unbridgeable such as abuse, addiction, infidelity, etc…
  • The dissolution of a marriage doesn’t have to high conflict.  Working together to figure out a solid co-parenting plan can help everyone involved get through the process.
  • Sometimes people seek out professional support as co-parents after divorce to help with areas such as scheduling, logistics, etc.
  • It’s important to know that it may be necessary to seek out appropriate professionals to help with the divorce process to ensure that specialized support in specific areas such as legal, financial, parenting, etc is available.
  • During a divorce, children often look up to their parents to see how to handle conflict in relationships and how to handle responsibility (Should I try to change myself or point a finger to blame others?)
  • The reflection and grief process after the divorce is important. Sometimes, people skip that piece which puts them at greater risk for similar issues in the new relationship.