Kids during divorce might feel hopelessly lost and confused about just about everything. When things get confusing we talk to our kids about finding a quiet zone, a place to stop, be left alone and think through how they are feeling and how they should direct their energies.
Every child needs a quiet zone, so we ask them to identify where that physical location is. Second, every child needs to know to count to 30 when they go into their quiet zone. When the feeling of being overwhelmed eases our kids are asked to identify how they are feeling and to write it down. The next question our kids ask….what do I do know? Perhaps there is someone they need to go talk to, perhaps there is an activity they can escape into.
The all important thing is getting the kids to recenter themselves and lower whatever anxiety they are feeling.
This message brought to you by Kids First Parents Second an organization dedicated to helping kids cope during and after divorce.
Many of my reference points in life come from television programs we all watched as kids. My favorite character, Burgermeister Meisterburger was the governing authority of the land who decided that children were not allowed to play with toys in Somber town. We all waited for the moment when the adults stopped listening to ridiculous rules and lived life in a way that made sense. When people tired of this rigid ruler, the Burgermeister was forgotten and his picture thrown in the garbage.
I was reminded of my favorite character when I heard a social worker proudly give a speach about the rules they imposed to govern the life of a mother and father after the divorce. Rigidness is what was needed he argued. Controlling the parties is what was needed. Minimizing the relationship to one parent had to the child a requirement……… Control, control ….litigation, conflict, winners and losers……blah blah blah…..
When divorce cases became hit historical levels decades and decades ago there was an reaction to try and create structured relationships between the parties. The approaches were rigid and created an environment that did not create a way that allowed children to thrive and cope with life after divorce.
The rigidness that led to a conflict style of parenting, in today’s world, seems to make less and less sense to one and all. Embracing a cooperative style of parenting means saying goodbye to a rigid system that creates misery for one and all. Parent’s understand that if they effectively communicate, cooperate and be flexible, their kids benefit. Society in general wants to see parent’s be flexible and put their kids interest first.
Whether the family law version of burger meisterburger truly stays or leaves really depends on the choices made by each divorcing parent. The best advice we can give to parent’s is if the end result of a rule makes your child’s life miserable consider a different option!
Kids love magic and kids love balloons. With that in mind, we ask our kids at KFPS – if they had a magic wand, what would they change?
We take the kids wishes and write them down in a small note. The note goes, you guessed it, in a balloon and with a little helium, is lifted off into the sky by your child.
So get these kids together and get these messages placed in separate bright colored balloons. Watch their faces as they see these balloons go!
This Kids Project was brought to you by Kids First Parents Second
EVERY single child might say that they want mom and dad back together. EVERY single child might say they want Pizza at Dad’s house.
It doesn’t matter what the response is, the fact is that it is a response, and is the child stating an opinion. That’s what we want, having the child talking a first step towards coping with the divorce process.
Every kid going through a divorce should be able to engage in projects to help them cope with the loss of the family life they once knew.
One project we suggest is to create a memory box –
This is what your child will need:
1. Shoe Box
2. Glitter (if they like), Markers, crayons, sticker’s,
3. Pictures of Mom and Dad
4. Keepsakes from favorite family vacations/favorite gifts
5. Journal (so they can draw pictures, write a diary, WHATEVER they want it for)
Get a photo album out and let your kids pick their favorite pictures of both mom and dad. The kids should be able to make a collage with the pictures they found or they can make a short photo album. Let the child make the box THEIR box so they will cherish it. Have the kids talk through the pictures and why they chose them. Have the kids talk about their favorite trips and the keepsakes they got. Make sure your child knows that he or she can keep this box underneath their bed or with their belongings.
This project brought to you by Kids First Parents Second.
We invite all you interested KFPS readers to join us on March 27th, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. C.S.T. for a pod cast introducing the KFPS system. I will be joined in the program with my daughter Robin, media director for KFPS.
It is our hope that we will be able to have you join us on the show and share with us your questions and comments about the program.
Please visit the below link and ask to join the discussion. Any problems joining please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If the time of our show does not work for our friends in the U.K., message us and we create a special package just for you.
We are thinking at this point in the project that it would be best to offer training seminar’s to teach professionals, parent coordinator’s learn the KFPS program. In August of 2015 we will be offering this seminar in our hometown of San Antonio, Texas. Please keep posted for further details.