Monthly Archives: February 2014

Final Thoughts on Talking With Your Kids about Your Alabama Divorce

Divorce (1)How will you communicate with your kids about your Alabama divorce or separation? Will your kids reciprocate by opening up to you?

You and your kids are not isolated. You’re part of a broader world. That means that other people will influence your thinking and your kids’ thinking, over time. This can be frustrating. For instance, perhaps you and your child will come to a deep understanding about what you’re going through and what’s expected of them. Then one day at school, an older kid gets word of the divorce and says mean things to your child, causing him to go into a downward spiral and act out. This can lead to distrust and chaos.

Be prepared to get “knocked off the horse.” If/when something like this happens, acknowledge the rupture, and strive for empathy. Don’t try to fix things right away. Just acknowledge your kid’s feelings and needs, and go from there.

For instance, perhaps you could open a conversation along the following lines: “I heard that Ronnie in school said nasty things to you about the divorce at recess, and then I saw you knock the art off the wall in my studio. Are you feeling mad and confused about what’s been happening? Would you like to talk about it?”

By approaching your kids in this way — respectfully, and focused on needs and feelings — you’ll be more likely to elicit behavior that will lead to better outcomes.

To deal with the multiple facets of your Alabama divorce, connect with the team here at Rose Law firm, LLC for a confidential, strategic case evaluation.

Helping Your Children, As You Go Through Your Divorce – Part 4

16734424_sMaking sense of new family situations is never easy, even when everyone involved wants to support one another and “make things easy/simple.”

The reality is that you’re going to make mistakes — potentially a lot of them — with respect to how you talk to your kids about your divorce, how you act during the divorce, and even how you engage in postmortem analysis.

Intellectually, many parents appreciate this. We know that no one can be a perfect parent, all the time. In practice, however, parents tend to be very hard on themselves, particularly when they make mistakes with their kids. So if you know that you will make mistakes, what can you do to learn from those mistakes and to avoid repeating them?

Keep a journal or diary and record your thoughts about pivotal conversations you have with your kids about the divorce. Analyze your expectations before any big chat. Then, after the sturm und drang, go back to your journal and analyze how you think the conversation went. Where did you go wrong? What you can do better next time?

Even if you just do this one, simple act of journaling – and you do it repeatedly – you’ll likely make serious progress towards improving your relationship with your kids and towards mending ruptures caused by the divorce.

For astute guidance for your Alabama divorce, get in touch with the Rose Law Firm, LLC, today. Connect with a specialist — a Board Certified Alabama family law attorney — for a free, confidential consultation.

Helping Your Children, As You Go Through Your Divorce – Part 3

When you’re going through a divorce – or any frenetic time – it’s so easy to obsess over your own emotions and needs. However, when you talk with kids about divorce, you want to strive, as much as possible, to get outside of yourself. Woman plugging ears

In other words, you want to offer empathy.

Empathy is different from sympathy, storytelling, and general support. Giving empathy means providing the experience of “being felt.” It’s not about fixing the problem, saying that you understand, or telling a comforting story. It’s about being present with your child — with whatever emotions he or she has.

For instance, imagine you’re announcing the divorce. The “fix it” reaction might be to say something along the lines of the following:

•    “Dad and I are getting divorced. But it’s going to be all right. We’re going to take care of everything, and you guys are going to be totally fine.”

The sympathetic reaction might be this:

•    “Dad and I are getting divorced. I feel really, really bad about this, and I’m so sorry to break the news to you.” This is well intended, but it’s all about you – not about the person receiving the information.

The storytelling reaction might be this:

•    “Dad and I are getting divorced. Let me tell you all about it…”

The empathetic reaction might be this:

•    “Dad and I are getting divorced.” Then you observe your child and try to reflect his or her thoughts and feelings. For instance, if the child starts to cry, you might say, “I see you tearing up. Are you scared, because you really wanted us to stay together?” With empathy, you’re striving simply to reflect what the other person is feeling and/or needing. You’re not trying to do anything about it!

For help dealing with your divorce and/or child custody battle in Alabama, connect with the Rose Law Firm, LLC, for a free, confidential case consultation.

Helping Your Children, As You Go Through Your Divorce – Part 2

Once you’ve met your own personal, emotional and physical needs, how can you help your child, as you and your spouse go through an Alabama divorce?Hoops

Many advice columnists offer seemingly useful advice along the lines of the following:

•    Be patient;
•    Let them ask questions;
•    Love is all it takes;
•    etc.

But what happens when one of your kids starts yelling at you and blaming you for the split? What if your spouse convinces your child to be on his (or her) side? What if your child seemingly understands one day and then forgets your entire conversation the next day? What if one child understands, but the other doesn’t?

You must fall back on your own resourcefulness to deal with these and other unforeseeable “glitches” in the process. When you want to communicate an important topic – especially a sprawling, multi-faceted, emotionally deep topic, like your divorce – you need help and support.

Here’s one way to handle this problem: collate any questions your kids have for you about the divorce. You won’t be able to address their concerns in a single meeting or single deep conversation. So have them capture their thoughts in a notebook or computer document. That way, when you do come together to discuss what’s been going on, you can address ALL their critical issues and provide clarity, support and guidance.

We’ll talk about more solutions in the next post. For now, if you need help with your Alabama divorce, connect with the team at the Rose Law Firm, LLC, for a free, confidential evaluation.