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Step families are created when one or both of the adults in the relationship have a child or children from previous relations.  In short, step families are formed when a single parent (father/mum) marries.  As I have mentioned time and time again, the relationships and the dynamics of the step family unit are quite complex.  This is because there are no instant families.  As much as on the outside, step families look like any other ordinary nuclear family- the couple and the children, truth is, the step family life is totally different.

The bio parent’s role therefore, in the step family is very important.  It can make the transition and functioning of the step family easier or more difficult.  This is because

You choose your Child’s Step Parent

The decision to make a child a step child is always adults driven.   Am aware that nobody says ‘when I grow up I want my children to have a step parent!’  However, life events happen and your children have a step parent.  You are in a step family.  It is important therefore, that you support your child in adjusting to the dynamics and changes brought about by step family life.  Do not be the bio parent who neglects their child because they have married.  Your child needs your support, assurance, time and guidance.

For the bio parents who may have neglected their children, it’s not too late to make things right.  For those who are about to get into a step family, always keep this in mind. Also consider learning more on what to consider before getting into a blended family.

Your Emotional Connection is Key

As a bio parent you have invested more emotionally with your child than the step parent.  This is the connection that gives and will always give you a higher parental authority with the child, compared to the step parent.  This parental authority comes in handy especially in matters of discipline in the step family.  A bio parent’s role therefore will reduce the conflicts and challenges brought about in step families due to matters of discipline/guiding the child.  Take advantage of your emotional connection with the child and guide your child to be the best they can be.

Parental Influence

Even when your child does not show it, as the bio parent you have a lot of influence on your child.  They look up to you.  If you have a negative attitude about the step family complexities, bad mouth your ex (their other bio parent), or disrespect the step parent, your kids will take the cue and do exactly the same.  As a bio parent you can set the pace of your step family by steering it to positivity.  Support your spouse – the step parent, and on the same hand support your children.  You play two important roles in the step family, as both a spouse and a parent.

All in all, every member of the step family plays an important role that can make or break the step family unit.  It’s important that each of us do our part for the success of our step families. The more you learn about step families, the easier it is to play your role better.

Jackie Keya

Founder – The Blended Family Network

Author – A Delicate Balance – Parenting in a Step Family

Blended Family Coach – Been in a step family for the last sixteen years and still Counting

The post The Important Role of The Bio Parent in a Step Family. appeared first on The Blended Family Network.

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Happy belated  father’s day to all step fathers.  The society, the fairy tales and fables concentrate more on step mothers and not the step fathers.  Due to this, it is often perceived that being a stepfather is easier than being a step mother.  Am a step mum, I know that being a step mum come with its unique challenges.  However, as a Blended Family Coach – supporting step families – I am also aware that being a stepfather comes with its own share of challenges.  Perhaps this is the reason that many step fathers disconnect emotionally and withdraw from being part of the day to day responsibilities.

Retreating may seem easier than engaging because as a step father there are times you will feel ‘not needed’.  I want to take this chance to let you know that as a step father, you have a profound and important role in your step family.  You can offer love, guidance and encouragement to the children under your care. How???

Understand your step child

When it comes to step kids I feel this quote says it all – ‘before you start to judge me, step into my shoe’ ….. Step children are at times the most judged, most placed and in other cases most punished members of the step family.  As a step father, being aware of your step child’s emotional wounds and hurts from the past losses is vital to making your journey/role as a step father better.  So first things first….. Take time to understand your step child.  It will help you understand their behavior, reactions, fears and you will realize it’s not personal.

It takes Time and commitment

Though you may be the one paying all the bills, allow yourself to  be content with providing indirect leadership for a period of time. You have some power as a step father by the fact you are an adult in the family and you married the child’s mother.  However, it takes time and commitment to get the chance to be fully accepted as the leader.  With patience, understanding, correct genuine attitude and commitment some step fathers attain the relational power.  Relational power is attained when you sincerely grow your relationship with your step child; in turn they also care about you.  Your opinions matters more, your validation is sort after and your step children feel safe with you.

Show up in you Step Child’s Life

As mentioned above, most step fathers’ disconnect emotionally and withdraw from the family life.  There are many step fathers who feel defensive and easily hurt by the reactions of their step children.  This is because most of them do not understand the emotional pain and hurt that step children have gone through.

When your practice the first and second step, this third step will be easier to adapt.  Be approachable and accessible to your step children.  You will not be able to make any relationship with your step child without these.    Remember to show appreciation, avoid being the step father who only sees/speaks when their step child does something wrong or to criticize.  Appreciation is the quickest way to build someone up and help then feel comfortable in your presence.  Spend time with your step children.  Do not force it…. however learn to keep the promises you make to them.

These three steps are not covering all that you need to do, however these will lay down the basic foundation to form a relationship with your step children.  Like I mentioned it’s not an easy role, however it’s an important role for the success of your step family.

Jackie Keya

Founder – The Blended Family Network

Author – A Delicate Balance – Parenting in a Step Family

Blended Family Coach – Been in a step family for the last sixteen years and still Counting

The post 3 steps to step father success….. appeared first on The Blended Family Network.

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It is easier to assume that the society judges step families negatively, however, the truth is for most people, the step families they know are those in the fairy tales that they grew up reading which depicted step families negatively.   As I had mentioned last week Conflict is Part of Step Family Living this month’s blogs will address the issues that came up during the step mum forum we held.  During that forum we realized that our relatives, colleagues, friends and neighbors at times actually do not understand our step family life.

Instead of us (members of step families) demanding acceptance from them and the society as a whole, I think it would be great to let them in on some basics about step families.  It’s my belief this will help you understand your neighbor/friend/colleague or relative who is living in a step family. On the other hand, for those in step families, this is  great information to empower you in your step family journey

  1. Step families are here to stay

Step families are going nowhere and neither are they a new creation.  Since time immemorial, including the biblical times, step families have been part of  us.  Though no one says ‘when I grow up I want to form a step family….’ every day, there are   new step families being created  in several parts of the world.  Life happens – death/divorce/early pregnancies that lead to the formation of step families.  Life hasn’t stopped happening…. Therefore more step families will be formed.

  1. Family is not always blood

Step families may have complicated relations but that does not make them lesser families.  Family is not always based on genes.  DNA does not always make one a parent.  Therefore, step families still form the basic unit of the society like any other families.  Just to quote Pope Francis – ‘Family is the basic unit of the society and the first school in which children learn the human, spiritual and  moral values which enable them to be a beacon of goodness, integrity and justice in our community.’  It does not matter what name is before family – step family/ adopted family/foster family/single parent family.  Our desire for children – step/bio is the same.  We want to bring up an emotionally balanced generation.

  1. Different does not mean dysfunctional

Of course step families are different, compared to the ordinary nuclear families where both bio parents are with their bio children.  This however does not mean that step families are dysfunctional families.    A dysfunctional family is a family in which conflict, misbehavior, and often child neglect or abuse on the part of individual parents occur continually and regularly, leading other members to accommodate such actions.

It’s not the composition of the family that makes it dysfunctional/functional.  The basic components that make a family function – respect, emotionally safe environment, accountability, acceptance, a home with courtesy, respectable boundaries and where adults work together for the welfare of the family. These components can also be gotten in step families.

  1. My step children are my family too

When you come to visit, please do not bring one lollipop for my bio child only, do not bring presents only when it’s my bio child’s birthday and ignore my step children.  This goes out especially to my relatives/colleagues and friends.  I know at times it’s hard to wrap your mind around the fact just the other day I was single without any child, and right now am a step mum of child/children.  However, when you openly ignore my step children, it does not help us as a family.  Help me build a better step family unit by recognizing and acknowledging my step children too.

  1. Just because am a step parent does not mean am wicked

I know this may be a tough one to ask especially if you read about the wicked step mums and experienced a wicked step mum in your life.  Don’t get me wrong, am aware that there are step parents who epitomize the evil step parent role.  This is really sad….

However, there are very many step parents who are trying and have chosen to do what’s right for their step children, their bio children and their step family units as a whole.  Therefore, just because I am a step parent, don’t judge me or perceive me as evil.  Give me a chance.

Jackie Keya

Founder – The Blended Family Network

Author – A Delicate Balance – Parenting in a Step Family

Blended Family Coach – Been in a step family for the last sixteen years and still Counting

The post 5 things to know about step families appeared first on The Blended Family Network.

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Happy belated mother’s day.  As we celebrated mothers, the media and social was full of beautiful messages of people celebrating their mums.  That was lovely, since truth be told there is no one like mum.  We must remember however that there are different types of mothers around us, foster mums, adoptive mums, step mums  and those who are guardians too.    We have different women who are making significant impact in raising and taking care of children who are not biologically their own.  If you are that kind of ‘mother’  I celebrate you Happy belated Mothers day to you.

For step mums, I know that mother’s day at times brings with it feelings of not being appreciated.  This is because as a step mum you are expected to give as a parent yet may not be appreciated as one.  In this post today, I will share 5 struggles that you will go through as a step mother and how to overcome these struggles.  With these in mind, your journey and role as a step mother will be less stressful.

Undefined Role:

Unlike the ordinary nuclear family, in step family life, the roles are at times blurred.  It is no wonder that step mothers most of the rimes do not understand what is expected from them and what is not.  So we end up thinking that since we are giving as much as a mum can give, we expect to be given the same respect and acknowledgement a bio mother has.  This is not always the case

Solution

If you are about to become a step mother, please ensure that before you marry, have a talk about expectations.  What does he expect from you and what do you expect.  Ensure that your expectations are realistic.  For those of us who are already married, it’s never too late to have the conversation about your roles.  Now is the time to fix the next years of your step family.  Remember to define your roles to your step family needs.  Do not compare and assume that your roles are the same as the couple in an ordinary nuclear family.

Rejection:

Am sure during this mother day/ week/weekend, there are a lot of step mothers who felt the bitter stab of rejection, unappreciation…name it.  This is because your step child did nothing to acknowledge you.  The feeling of rejection is painful, this is cause as human beings one of our basic needs according to Maslow is acceptance.  There are very many instances that step mothers will definitely experience rejection.

Solution

Rejection is part of the journey of step motherhood.  During the early years of the integration of your family of course, your step children will reject you because they do not know you, they have not accepted the step family life or basically they were not well prepared for the step family life.  Therefore, as a couple you will need to give it time, research says it takes a min 4 years to 7 years for step families to function as whole.

Some of the rejection you also feel as a step mother is cause of your expectations…. Manage your expectations.  At times our perception works against us, accept your role/position in your step child’s and do your best in your role.  Some step mums think they are a replacement mum.  No one can replace a bio parent.

Lack of Support

It’s no doubt that being a step mother is one of the most challenging roles in a step family.  As a step mum I know this too well.  Therefore step mothers need a lot of support in order to be successful in their role.  Step parenting actually takes two – the step parent and the bio parent.  Remember the reason a step parent in the life of the child is because of the bio parent. To be successful therefore, you need the bio parent.

Solution

Communication… consistent communication is required.  As a step mother, talk to your husband and let him know what he can do to support you in your role as a step mother.  Talk about the challenges; ensure that you do this in a non judgmental/non accusatory manner.

Walking the journey alone can be lonely and overwhelming, therefore get support, learn more about step family life, talk to a step family coach or attend step family workshops.  The more equipped you are, the easier it become.

Negative Stereotype

We all know ‘wicked’, ‘evil’ step mother stereotypes’.  It is almost assumed that if you are a step mother, then you are wicked.  This is not true.  If you are reading this and you are wicked, then it is unfortunate and it’s time to change or give up the step family life.

Solution

It amazes how as step moms, or members of step family, we are looking for or even at times demanding acceptance yet we have not fully embraced our selves.  We are ashamed of our role.  Acceptance and change about the negative stereotypes begins with us.  We cannot demand for what we do not practice.  Accept your role as a step mum, do your best in this role and see the rest of the world changing their perception.

Jackie Keya

Founder – The Blended Family Network

Author – A Delicate Balance – Parenting in a Step Family

Blended Family Coach – Been in a step family for the last sixteen years and still Counting

 

The post 4 Ways to Tame the 4 Common Step Mum Struggles appeared first on The Blended Family Network.

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Behind the struggles that you are facing in your step family lies FEAR.  As we all know, fear is crippling, crushing, success-stalling, inhibitive and inflicted by oneself.  Most of us may not even be aware that the root cause behind our actions is fear.  All the members of your step family experience different fears and depending on how these fears are addressed, the step family will either be stuck in conflict or open its doors to the opportunity to build an emotionally balanced step family unit.

What we are normally dealing with is the actions/behavior, however, behind these there are deep fears that lurking.

Children in Step families (the Step Child) fears:

  • The relationship with their bio parent will change – step parent has come to replace them in their parent’s lives, they have to share time, affection and resources
  • They will be mistreated by the step parent – after all step parents are wicked!
  • Their position in the family which they deemed important will change – no longer the last born/only child of their parent
  • What do my peers think of me now that am a step child
  • What their life is going to be especially because of changes in routines, maybe schools and family traditions
  • Adult step children worry about the family legacy, finances and inheritance

These are only some of the fears that step children in blended families go through.  Most of the time the children are not aware that this is what is going on at the back of their mind, they are overwhelmed by these  fears, feelings and emotions and end up acting out.  For a couple that does not understand where the child is coming from – it causes a lot of imbalance and conflict in the family.

Step Couple Fears

The couple in the step family will experience fears caused by their past combined with fears of the present.

  • The remarried spouse may experience fear of having to go through a break up again (especially if he/she went through a divorce/separation). This fear to go through a heart break will make him guarded, limit trust & intimacy; they will build walls and block true engagement with their spouse.  The result of this is  a marriage that is cold, stuck and unfulfilling
  • The step parent and the bio parent will also experience a common fear of the challenges that come from being in a step family. The step parent may opt to be hands-off with the step children, (after all he/she is not mistreating them) while the bio parent may overindulge the children as a way to combat with these fears. Both options are detrimental to the children and the success of the family in general.
  • Fear of being Stigmatized by the society – Our society still has a negative perspective on step families, a step parent who is experiencing this fear, will not tell their friends/colleagues of the status of their family and may only introduce their bio child to them.  This of course will sabotage the possibilities of making bonds between them and the step children.

There are many other personal fears that come up.  As you can see, these fears will sabotage a step family from thriving.  It is important that these fears are addressed, through open conversations, empathy and compromise, when it’s overwhelming get support.

One more thing:

Our Program Step Wise is here to support you through the journey of building a harmonious and emotionally balanced step family unit.  https://www.facebook.com/events/1251560934937082/

Jackie Keya

Founder The Blended Family Network

Blended Family Coach, Psychologist, counselor NLP Life Coach

The post Fears That Sabotage Your Step Family appeared first on The Blended Family Network.

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Step families are created when one or both adults in a marriage have a child or children from previous relations.  We have different kinds of step families – step mum step families, step father step families and both stepdad/mum step families.  In the step mums meeting that we had last month, it became apparent that most of us in our step families are struggling with the issue of discipline.

Discipline and correction is one of the primary responsibilities that come with raising children in any type of family.  Discipline does not just mean punishment, or rather it’s about giving guidance and direction.  It is challenging yet very critical.

Today we look at 5 factors that make discipline in our step families challenging.  In fact discipline issue in step families sip through and become a marital issue.  The root cause of most marital issues and disagreements that couples in step families’ face can be traced to discipline/parenting issues.  Unlike the ordinary nuclear family where couples trust each other when they are parenting or disciplining their kids…. It’s not the same in step families.   Therefore, for the success of your step family, it’s important to understand the issue of discipline so that you can bring up emotionally balanced kids and also save your marriage from suffering the effects of discipline conflicts.

Why is it challenging?

  1. Difference in Parental Authority

Discipline is dependent on the parental authority an adult has with a child.  It is not only genetic. Any adult who has invested emotionally and built a relationship with a child is able to discipline a child.  When I was growing up, any adult could reprimand/guide you.  This was an accepted norm… it’s not the same anymore.  Just because you are an adult, does not automatically give you the authority to discipline.   Furthermore, there are no instant parents.   Therefore, as a couple in a step family, please know that the parental power lies with the bio parent.  He/she should be the chief disciplinarian.  A step parent’s authority is borrowed from the bio parent and should try and connect before they correct.

  1. Outside Influence

Basically step families can get a lot of interference from outside.  Step families are not only influenced by what happens in their family units.  There could be co-parenting with an Ex – where the child is exposed to different rules or coaxed/influenced to defy the rules and responsibilities’ at your home.   Let’s not forget the society (the neighbors’/relatives/peers) who believe that step families are doomed and that a step child will be mistreated.  A step child who has been made to believe that nothing good will come out of their step parent will definitely act out.

As a couple understand the dilemma the child is going through, encourage open lines of communication.  Help them feel accepted and secure in the step family unit – whether the children reside with you permanently or you have temporary custody.

  1. Difference in Parenting Styles

Sometimes the cause of conflict about raising up the children in your step family is actually due to the difference of the couple’s parenting styles.   There are different types of parenting styles – Authoritative, Permissive, Authoritarian and Uninvolved.  For some couples, they had adapted a particular way of parenting their child/children as single parents and after the formation of the step family they encounter differences in parenting styles.  Such a parent may find it difficult to change.

Please keep in mind that step families are unique and different.  The best way to tackle this is by discussing and agreeing on the values that you want to teach your children (step/bio). Then agree on ways these values can be instilled in the children.  Don’t let the differences in parenting pull you apart, instead learn how to complement each other while constantly reviewing the methods to parent your children better (Step/bio).

  1. Divided you Fall

If there is a quote that the step couples have to remember – ‘United you stand, divided you fall.’  As a couple in a step family unit, you need to be united.  In case of any disagreement, especially in the issue of bringing up the children, have this discussion in private as a couple.  Always present to the children a united front, because if you do not, then the children will easily divide and rule.  The children will play you against each other.

  1. It Takes Time….

Building a successful step family is not a sprint…. It’s a marathon race.  Only the ones who persevere and are patient survive.  Most step family units fail because of this.  Experts say its takes between 4 – 7 years for a step family to function as a whole.  Therefore as you integrate your step family unit, the road will be bumpy.  However, the more you learn and keep yourself informed about step families, the better equipped you will be to build a well balanced step family.

Jackie Keya

Founder – The Blended Family Network

Author – A Delicate Balance – Parenting in a Step Family

Blended Family Coach – Been in a step family for the last sixteen years and still Counting

 

The post 5 Reasons Discipline is a Challenge in Step Families appeared first on The Blended Family Network.

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This month on 28th Jan 2017 we will be having our program Moving  Forward – A New Beginning After Divorce.  This program is not only meant to help you in your journey after a divorce, but also to enable you to support your child effectively after this life changing event in their lives.  As parents we at times get caught in the pain, betrayal, conflict and all the shenanigans’ of the divorce that we forget our children are getting lost in the midst of all these.

Therefore it’s important to understand what is going on with your child, invest in healing yourself so that you can be able to support your child effectively.  A child who is not well supported after experiencing parents’ divorce is bound to be affected negatively right into their adulthood life.  Do not allow the occurrence of the divorce mess your child’s entire life.

Therefore, what does your child go through?

Denial

If your children are young, they will find it hard to believe that their parents are divorced.  To your children you are Ken and Barbie, never to be apart.  As a result they will always imply its temporary or will out rightly ask when their other parent is coming back home

Feelings of Insecurity

Children feel insecure because the foundation that held the family (parents) is no more.  They will experience feelings of abandonment – who will take of us.  Feelings of uncertainty – what will happen to us?  They may be preoccupied in looking for answers and information to explain what is happening to their family.  Some may be preoccupied with working on reconciliation as a solution to the uncertainty, insecurity, fear of change or probably because they may be feeling sorry for one of their parents.

Negative Behavior

Divorce is overwhelming for children especially to those children that have been exposed to a lot of conflict between their parents before and after divorce.  Some children will adapt negative behavior – act out in anger, express hostility, fights, trouble in school/with peers/parents or  engage in sexual activities.

The other thing to look out for that is detrimental is depression – lethargy, changes in sleep/eating patterns, isolating themselves or self inflicted physical injury

Immaturity – Regression

This mostly occurs in young children – they may regress to earlier developmental stage and start to baby talk or wet their beds.

Blame and Guilt

Marital conflict is related to other stresses of the family including finances and parenting.  The children who have been audience to these conflicts may feel guilty and blame themselves for being the cause of the divorce.  This is made worse when parents who are already divorced still fight about the child’s care and schedules in the child’s presence.

Please note; If you are reading this, and you have noticed some of these reactions in your child, do not feel condemned.  Research actually shows that children are actually capable of navigating through the challenges of the parents’ divorce to become balanced and responsible adults in future.  This is only possible with the support from the parents.

Come and join us in the Moving Forward Event to learn more on how to support your child.

Increased Sense of Responsibility

One positive reaction that also comes after divorce is an increased sense of responsibility.  A child will realize that things are not the same and make a choice to pull up their weight to become more responsible than they were previously.  Though it’s a positive move, do not assume that the child is okay, this child also needs to be well supported to make him/her a better person.

Jackie Keya

Founder The Blended Family Network

Blended Family Coach, Psychologist, counselor NLP Life Coach

The post Children’s Reaction to Divorce appeared first on The Blended Family Network.

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Meeting other step mums at Parklands Sports Club last Friday 31st April 2017 was an exciting experience and indeed an evening of shared experiences of our step family lives.  This month I will be sharing lessons learnt during our interactions that evening.

The first one is that, peace is not the absence of conflict.  We often associate conflict to imply negative relations, (do not get me wrong, at times it does) however, conflict is also part of relationship formation.  The most important thing is to resolve the conflicts we face in a healthy and peaceful manner instead of avoiding them.

Some us, due to the negative tales we have heard about step families, we tend to totally avoid conflicts.  Therefore our step families – are too peaceful – everyone is walking on egg shells, ensuring that there is no conflict.  There is rarely communication especially between the step parent and step child except for a quick halo, yet we live in the same house!  My take is that members will miss out on forming meaningful familial relationships and end up just having cordial relations.  In such a step family there are clearly defined lines of outsiders and insiders.  This is mostly interchangeable since the step children will feel like outsiders in relation to the couple’s relations while other times, the step parent will feel like an outsider in relation to the bio parent and the step child’s relations.  One family with two camps under the same roof.  The one caught in the middle is often the bio parent who will eventually be overwhelmed by trying to pacify the two camps.

Conflict is unavoidable and necessary for formation of successful step family life because, it is not possible to bring in a step parent (maybe with step siblings too) into a single parent family and everyone fits in like a perfect puzzle. There is bound to be conflict, gradually however, we all find our balance.  Step families that are avoiding conflict, will never find their balance or have an emotionally balanced step family life.

Conflict occurs as we define our new relationships, roles and identity in the step family.  Every member of the step family feels the challenges of the step family life and will therefore try to find themselves in the entire process.   conflict will not be a onetime occurrence, brace yourself because it is part of our step family dynamics.  It is important because

  • It helps us to strengthen and form honest relationships with one another
  • Helps us set boundaries as individuals and as a family unit
  • Teaches us how to treat each other and how to allow the society to treat us
  • Enables us to understand our common ground as a step family unit

My recommendation is to equip yourself with conflict resolution skills instead of avoiding it.  Create a non judgmental home environment that allows open family communications, frequent family discussions, establish and maintain basic standards of respect in the family.

Avoiding is not the solution

Jackie Keya

Founder The Blended Family Network

Blended Family Coach

The post Conflict is part of Successful Step Family Living appeared first on The Blended Family Network.

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Marriages are meant to last forever – till death do us part.  Nevertheless, sometimes things do not turn out this way.  We are a time in our society when divorce/separation is more common compared to the earlier years.  This however does not negate the fact divorce/separation is still a painful and stressful life event.  They are the number 2 and 3 respectively most stressful events according to list of 43 stressful life events included on Social Readjustment Rating Scale, following the death of a spouse.   Going through divorce/separation is a ‘What Now?’ moment.  It demands you to ask yourself – What Now?  It’s a turning point in your life.  Therefore if your are reading this and have gone through a divorce/separation, please know that you are bound to make choice – consciously/subconsciously.  Whatever direction you choose will either make you a better person or get you stuck in pain, guilt, shame, excuses and feelings of unworthiness.

Though divorce/separation is painful, you do not have to live the rest of your life in pain.  This month, our focus has been healing after divorce.  We have touched  on different topics that will help you move forward after divorce.

New Year – Turning a New Page,

5 Things that Sabotage Moving Forward After Divorce

Children’s’ Reaction to Divorce

You will definitely feel nervous about getting support, however, this feeling should not stop you because it  will pass.  Here are reasons why you need support to move forward

You will discover that you are not alone

In the midst of pain most of the time we think it’s only happening to me.  ‘Why me? ’ Getting support for yourself is a chance to interact with other people who have gone through the same, understand your hurt, emotions and painful experience.  It’s a chance to interact with people at different phases of recovery after divorce.  This will enable you to understand what you are going through and aware of what to expect, making your recovery period less stressful.

Learn helpful practical information

As mentioned earlier, divorce/separation is a turning point at one’s life – whether you were left or you are the one who demanded for it.  Getting support will give you awareness about the emotional, psychological phases of divorce, equip you with strategies, attitudes and skills that will help you in your journey after divorce/separation.

Have the chance to talk about your experiences

Sharing your story may seem like a daunting task, nonetheless, it will heal you and moreover it will heal someone else.  This means that you will also be healed from hearing someone else’s story too.  Sharing your experience is a great opportunity to free yourself and begin a new journey for yourself and your children

Minimizing negative Effects of Divorce/Separation on your children

Divorce/Separation may have devastating negative effects on your child – Children’s’ Reaction to Divorce.  Research shows that with the correct support from the parents, children are able to successfully navigate through the challenges of divorce and become responsible well balanced adults.

You may not feel the need to get support for yourself, but at least do it for your children.  Joins us for Moving Forward – A New Beginning After Divorce

Jackie

Founder The Blended Family Network

Blended Family Coach, Psychologist, counselor NLP Life Coach

The post Why you Need Support after Divorce/Separation appeared first on The Blended Family Network.

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You know you want to move on, you want to feel better and start living – yet you find yourself stuck, not a member of your old your life, neither a member of your new life…

You are feeling overwhelmed and frustrated with life (though on the outside you look like you have it all together).  You have now opted to make a lot of excuses to justify why you are stuck – I was betrayed, cheated on, am not financially stable… and so on.  Don’t get me wrong, I admit that whatever happened to you was not right.  The journey of divorce/separation is a painful journey, however, you can either choose to make excuses or move forward… but you cannot do both!!!

Hear some things that are holding you back…

Lack of Forgiveness

Forgiveness is not easy, especially when you have been hurt by someone you opened your heart and life to.  Yet without forgiveness you are bound not to heal – it’s like taking poison and expecting the other person (your ex) will die.    Forgiveness is often misunderstood. It does not mean a person is freed from the consequences of their behavior. Rather, it means that the forgiver is no longer allowing the events to control their emotions, specifically anger.

The benefit is not for the receiver, it is for the giver. Therefore it is a big step to help you in your journey

Being a victim – Holding onto Pain

Divorce leaves you with pain, your marriage is ended, your family as you knew it is no more and your dreams just vanished.  So it’s human nature to hold onto the pain that is left after divorce, you feel justified, you claim it and even feed the pain.  The pain becomes your identity.

This automatically slows down your progress to live authentic life that you desire for yourself and your children.   When you allow yourself to be a victim, it means you have abdicated the responsibility to change your life.  This is not what you really want, you need to release the pain because it is holding you back and trust that you will land safe on the other side

You may have a victom considering the events in your marriage & divorce, but do not allow yourself to be a victim for life

Rebound

This is what I call the ‘quick fix’ – You do not want to be alone, you want to prove that you can be loved… therefore you are quick to get into another relationship.  This is recipe for disaster; no person/relationship will fill up the hole left by your divorce.  Your destination is not to have another man/woman in your life, but to be a better you and live a fulfilling life.  Stop avoiding the pain and the healing process by jumping into another relationship.

Isolation

Divorce makes us feel ashamed, lowers our self esteem, confidence, we feel vulnerable, rejected and you may find yourself opting to keep to yourself.  It may feel safer in short run, however isolating yourself denies you the important social support that you need, and you miss out on other people perspectives that could help you in your journey.

The wall that you build around you to feel safe also keeps others away.   Don’t isolate yourself.   In the same breathe be careful who you keep in your circle, are they people who make you a better person or not?

Self Care

You need to take good care of yourself.  This can be a struggle especially if you are trying to figure out being a single parent and how to support your child through the new dynamics.  It is easy to indulge in habits that are not good for you, just to numb the pain.  Part of your responsibility as a parent and as a person, is to take care of yourself.  And that means make your diet, your exercise, your sleep and your social time a priority.

Moving on occurs when you take the responsibility to make it happen.

Divorce is not something we ‘get over it’… however it doesn’t mean you have to let it hold your back.

Have you gone through divorce and you would love to have a new beginning for yourself? Join for our event Moving Forward – A New Beginning After Divorce.

Jackie Keya

Founder The Blended Family Network

Blended Family Coach, Psychologist, counselor NLP Life Coach

The post 5 Things that Sabotage Moving Forward After Divorce appeared first on The Blended Family Network.

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