A friend shared that her kids are still struggling with, and hurting from, the divorce four years later, which is not unusual.
I was fortunate enough to be able to teach Utah's Divorce Parenting classes for 11 years and to be a family therapist for 18 years now. The research from my profession is undoubtably valuable, but the best teachers I've ever had have been all the wonderful parents and children who've simply gone through divorce and step-family transitions. It ain't no easy task! Those who've been through it can empathize and clearly know what they are talking about having been "in the trenches" themselves. I did, too, when I was six and the aftermath went on for years (Hmmm... I wonder why I became a marriage and family therapist....?). From both my profession's research and from the hundreds of families I've worked with I've written these articles.
So, for any who are interested I offer the following as a freebie on how parents can help children through divorce: http://marriageenvy.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Divorce-Parenting-Children-and-Divorce-Series.pdf It contains the following 5 articles in my Children and Divorce Series:
• 15 Important Communication Skills to Use with Children about Divorce • Benefits of Cooperative Parenting in Divorce • 5 Stages of the Grieving Process for Children in Divorce • 8 Ways to Keep Kids Out of the Middle • Parents Can Help Their Kids through the Divorce Process
Please share YOUR advice and/or experience for how to best help kids through divorce.
I also do a workshop "Helping Children Through Divorce" based on 11 years of teaching the curriculum I developed for the State of Utah's Shared Parenting Course for Divorcing Parents as well as my experience as a marriage and family therapist.
I don't filter my evaluation results I give them here as straight as I get them. I figure if you're making the important decision to select the right speaker for your group is it better to just get filtered positive only testimonials about a potential speaker or to know how people respond to the speaker including both those who loved it and didn't? So if someone thought I stunk you'll hear it hear first. Obviously, I don't try to make everyone happy. Part of my utility is to get people out of their comfort zones. If the majority love an approach I use in a seminar I'll continue those items that resonate with most. If the majority hate an approach I'll drop it. If one or two people don't like what the majority love, then I don't give much heed to those critiques, of course. However, I appreciate all feedback, which is one of the reasons my evaluation results are consistently high: My audiences teach me what they like and what works best for them and I listen.
My evaluation form contains the following items:
- 1-10 Rating: "Please rate your overall experience of this presentation"
- The Good: "What was brilliant, superb, exhilarating, life-altering, or opened the heavens for you? In short, what did you like about the presentation?
- One Thing: "What's one thing that you plan on using and/or implementing into your life from this presentation?" This tells me out of everything what was the one thing that had the most meaningful impact.
- The Bad: "What stunk, turned your stomach, gave you a headache, made you dizzy, or gave you gas? In short, what didn't you like that could be improved and/or what would you like to see covered that wasn't? (Go ahead, I can take it!)"
- Requested eZine: This is actually also an evaluation measure: You'd think that someone who would give a lower rating didn't like the presentation. However, while it may not have been the favorite for that person, they got enough out of it that they would like to receive emails containing articles, tips, strategies and events on these topics from me.
Event: Chainbreaker Foundation Date: 10.1.13 Attendance: 30 Number of Evals Returned: 13 Average Rating for this Event: 9.8/10
[table] Rating,The Good,One Thing Different,The Bad,eZine? 10,"How he explained it all.","Education and show respectful vs. reactive listening like your 'uh huh, yeah...' story.",--,-- 10,"Non-judgmental, wise, great advise.","Don't expect normal from a narcissist.","Nothing.",Y 10,"You're awesome!!!",--,--,Y 10,"Empathize, listen to kids, let my son be sad and angry, love consistently.","Don't respond to anger with anger.",--,Y 10,"Honesty. He asked what WE wanted to learn about and answered all our questions.","Don't expect normal behavior from someone who acts abnormally.",--,Y 10,--,--,--,Y 10,"Customized presentation to our questions.","Get counseling before marriage. Read books now.","It was good.",Y 10,"The grief process.","Counseling.",--,Y 10,"Very good. Excellent.","Being an example to my child.",--,Y 10,"Touched on many problems with good ideas. Good audience response.","Listening better to children, stepchildren, grandchildren so I can better help them.",--,Y 10,"Great coverage of questions on subject.","Anxiety opens up our senses so...get really clear on what model of behavior or example my children will remember in their lives.","Nothing.",Y 9,"Positive reaction to high conflict was very enlightening. I am going to use it.","Sheriff and deputy model for step-parenting. Positive reaction to high conflict.","It was all good.",Y 8,"Q&A group presentation.","Have more appropriate talk with children. No parent bashing.","Just not enough time.",Y [/table]