So many parents get caught up in their hurts and fears and anxieties.
What Do I Tell the Kids?
Parenting: Six Tips to Help You Tell Your Kids that You are Getting Divorced
By CRISTELA GUERRA
In today’s day and age, a collaborative divorce might be considered an oxy-moron. Resentment and hurt makes everything worse, and drawn-out custody battles can rage on forever unless someone settles.
Seventeen years ago, when Rosalind Sedacca and her husband decided they were going to divorce, she didn't want to put her 11-year-old son through a tumultuous transition. She wanted a simple way to tell her son about the divorce that would answer all his questions. So she told him a story… their story.
“I remembered how much Cassidy liked to look at photo albums from our background, like how mom and dad met and things we did as a family,” Sedacca said. “This set the foundation for understanding where our family has been and then explaining in simple terms what’s coming next.”
Sedacca wrote her son a book that today she calls "How Do I tell the Kids...About The Divorce?" It was a storybook that helped her prepare her son for the ending. Not necessarily the happily ever after kind, but not a tragedy either — just different. “In the end, the message is always the same because they address the same basic instincts and insecurities every child has when their parents divorce,” Sedacca said.
Sedacca viewed the book as “a valuable anchor to hold on to" when she used it with her son, but she also saw it a way to remember fond family memories. “Having the photos and customized bits and pieces about mom and dad give the security and comfort that life will continue after this and mom and dad will still love you,” she said.
Today, Sedacca, a corporate trainer and professional speaker based out of West Palm Beach, Fla., has published her book after “sitting on it for 10 years.” She hopes it will help other parents struggling through the issue of talking with their children about divorce. Her son Cassidy, who is now 28, wrote the introduction for his mother, encouraging readers to use the book as a manual to help their kids.
As part of the divorce book for parents, she also provides articles from various professionals on issues like why it’s important tell your child about your past and what happened before they were born — to show them that mom and dad were once in love. Amy Sherman, a licensed mental health counselor in Lake Worth, Fla., is one of these experts. She specializes in relationship issues, women’s health and substance abuse as well as wrote a book called, "Distress-Free Aging: A Boomers' Guide to Creating a Fulfilled and Purposeful Life."
“I love the idea of a book designed to help kids not model behavior they’re learning at home or act it out after the parents divorce,” Sherman said. “Instead, it's age-appropriate so there aren’t too many details about why, but still helps them understand.”