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    • This book is a must-read for parents contemplating divorce, those already in the divorce process and those who have a parenting plan in place. It gives parents important insight into the issues and real needs of children. Shannon has very important knowledge and wisdom to share with parents. I will recommend this book to all my clients who are dealing with parenting plan issues.
    • Albert V. Evans, Family Law Attorney since 1970
    • This book is a key practical tool for parents when life is in crisis. It will help to ensure that our unresolved issues start healing and do not dim the possibility of a joyful and creative life for our children. I truly thank you for gifting this book to the world.
    • Candice Bataille Popiel, coparent of a 7 and 8 year-old and co-author of Discovery of Glow
    • Shannon Rios' personal experience, research, and professional expertise offer compassion and respect to divorced and separated parents. If parents read The Fatal 7 Mistakes and apply all the practical tips this book offers, they will get along better with their parenting partners, heal from their divorce faster and help their children come through the divorce with their self-esteem intact. This book will help ensure families achieve emotional health despite these life-changing events.
    • Jody Johnston Pawel, author of the award-winning book The Parent's Toolshop: The Universal Blueprint for Building a Healthy Family
    • Shannon comes from personal experience and from the heart in her deep desire to help children of divorcing parents. Parents - read this book! You CAN move through the divorce process without injuring your children!
    • Margaret Paul, Ph.D., author/coauthor of "Healing Your Aloneness", Inner Bonding, "Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By You?", and Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God?.
    • As a mother of a 7 yr. old, going through a divorce, my main concern is the well-being of my child. This book was a godsend! It has helped me be the best mom for my son, while going through this difficult process."
    • Katy, mother of a 7 yr old.
    • This wonderful book should be required reading and writing for every divorced or never married parent. It also should be on the bookshelf of every mediator, counselor or attorney helping separated parents raise happier kids.
    • Dr. Shirley Thomas, Two Happy Homes: A Working Guide for Parents & Stepparents After Divorce and Remarriage and Parents are Forever: A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming Successful Coparents After Divorce
    • Don't let the word Fatal in the title scare you, when you look inside, you will find Shannon Rios's book to be one of the best parenting after divorce books ever written. She has understanding, compassion, and an uncanny understanding of what children � and parents � need. I have seen many divorce books during the past 25 years, and while they are all helpful in varying degrees, if every parent could read Shannon's book, most of the problem suffered by children as an outcome of their parents' divorce would be substantially eased. This book should be required reading in all divorce classes."
    • David L. Levy, Esq., President, Board of Trustees, Children's Rights Council
    • For the divorced or separated parent who wants to raise emotionally safe and secure children: this book could be exactly what you are looking for. This book was easy to read, yet practically applicable, capable of bringing out the subtle actions and words that parents, hurting from their own divorce experience, may not realize are inadvertently hurting their children.
    • David Meggitt, Manager, Colorado Children's Program Betty Ford Institute
    • Parents of separation, divorce and conflict will find this book an invaluable and treasured guide�it's filled with heart-felt, sage, and practical advice. Shannon Rios shows parents how to ask themselves and their children questions that optimize healing and growth, even during times of conflict and difficulty. Children whose parents read this book will be lucky indeed!"--
    • Marilee Adams, Ph.D. Author, Change Your Questions, Change Your Life: 10 Powerful Tools for Life and Work
    • Every so often someone comes along with the rare ability to see things differently and in doing so, changes our lives forever. Suddenly, issues that seemed so difficult to understand and actions that seemed too painful to take, begin to open up to an entirely new understanding that shifts our consciousness and heals our soul! It is this clarity of vision that Shannon Rios brings to her latest work. You owe it to yourself to read this powerful new book but more importantly, you owe it to your children.
    • Jeffrey Alan Hall, Author Speaker Teacher, www.jeffreyalenhall.com, A Course in Miracles
    • Divorced and divorcing parents and their children, regardless of age, will see themselves in this book. They will also recognize the author knows how easy it is to be ensnared in the traps she describes and how difficult it is to avoid them. She provides many prompts for improving self-awareness and exercises to aid management of tendencies harmful to children. Those able to follow at least some of her suggestions should be richly rewarded by improvement in the health and happiness of their children as well themselves.
    • Bonnie W. Camp, MD, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Pediatrics and Psychiatry University of Colorado School of Medicine

Parenting & Divorce: Meeting The Needs of Our Children Part 2

March 4th, 2014

See part 1 of this article here: Parenting & Divorce: Meeting the Needs of Our Children Part 1

Role of Parents During Divorce

At the end of this blog post is a tool entitled, The Parent’s Promise and no matter what stage of divorce you are in, some or all of these items will apply to you. This document was written by children of divorce for children of divorce. Please ensure that you are adhering to these promises should you move forward towards the divorce decision. Prior to, during, and after your divorce, when interacting with your children always ask yourself, “Is this behavior helping or hurting my child?”

Your role as a parent is to put your children first. No matter whose choice the divorce was or whose fault it was, one thing is for sure — it was not the choice of the children. We must look out for their best interests during this time.

Discussion

Communication

Communication is another responsibility of the parent. Depending upon the stage of divorce that you are in, it is very important for you to communicate with your children about this event. In the initial communication to the children, it is optimal if both parents can communicate about the divorce together; however this may not always be possible.

Children are very perceptive and it is best for you to be open and honest with them. It is very important that your children know you are not leaving them and that both of you still love them very much. For further information on communicating with your children about your divorce, please refer to the book, Good Parenting Through Your Divorce by Mary Ellen Hannibal (2002).

The Parent’s Promise

Written by Children of Divorce for Children of Divorce

For the greatest good of my child ______I hereby agree that:

  1. I will not speak negatively about my child’s other parent to my child.
  2. I will not say to my child “that (insert negative behavior or characteristic) is just like your father/mother”.
  3. I agree to not put my child in the middle of issues with their other parent (esp. child support).
  4. I agree to not use my child as a pawn to get back at their other parent.
  5. I agree that if my child’s parent has a new relationship that I will not speak negatively of this other person to my child.
  6. I will not expect my child to support my emotional health.
  7. I will periodically ask my child how they are doing.
  8. I will do my best to fully support my child during this process.
  9. I will allow my child to be a child during this time.
  10. I will seek outside professional counseling if I need to speak with someone about this situation or if I am having difficulty maintaining this agreement.
  11. I agree that if I do not uphold the above promises that I personally am not acting in the best interest of my child’s physical and emotional health.
  12. I will speak with my child’s coach/counselor once a month to gain further insight.

By agreeing to the Parent’s Promise I am accepting responsibility as a parent to provide the best environment possible during this transition for my child. In upholding these promises, I am also acknowledging to my child that they have no fault in this decision that was made by their parents. I am fully committed to the best interest of my child’s emotional and physical health during this time and to their future growth and development.

Honestly and with much love, I commit to this for my child. (Signed, __________)

Copyright Shannon Rios 2002. Reprinted by permission only.

Shannon R. Rios Paulsen MS LMFT (www.inlovewithme.com) has spent the last 12 years learning, writing, and coaching about self-love. She is a professional life coach and a licensed marriage and family therapist. She is the author of two best-selling guided meditations: The Healing Journey Within: Meditations for Abundance and Love, Volume I (Deserving) and Volume II (Manifesting). She also wrote the best-selling book, The 7 Fatal Mistakes Divorced and Separated Parents Make: Strategies for Raising Healthy Children of Divorce and Conflict (www.healthychildrenofdivorce.com).  Shannon lives in Denver, CO with her Swedish husband whom she met on one of her solo self-love journeys in Thailand.

 

Stay tuned as we answer more questions in this series.

               

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  • Be The Change

  • Let all of us, in our own unique way, recommit ourselves to the search for the pebbles of change that can be cast into the social pond. Let us create a divorce process that recycles divorce pain into new patterns of personal and familial growth which, in turn, will also strengthen our entire society. Let us protect our children from the unnecessary hazards of the divorce experience so that they, like their parents, can be strengthened by divorce rather than defeated by it. And let us never forget that if the lights go out in our children’s eyes, be they children of divorce or any other children, we will all live in darkness.
  • —Meyer Elkin, Editor AFCC
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