October 1, 2013

“Believe me, it gets better!”

Several times a year, I have the opportunity to present a workshop on child-centered divorce, parenting plans and co-parenting to Daisy Camp. Daisy Camp is the brainchild of Jennifer Morris, a realtor who has realized her vision of providing women with important resources and support during and after a divorce. Jennifer assembles volunteer speakers, many of whom are Collaborative Team Practice professionals, to share information and facilitate discussion on a range of divorce-related topics. Daisy Camp is an amazing Minnesota resource.

At the most recent Daisy Camp, I was pleasantly surprised when a former Collaborative client joined the group right before my presentation. I had provided neutral child specialist services for her family a year ago, meeting with her children to understand their perspectives on how family could work best for them during and after their parents’ divorce, and assisting parents in the creation of their developmentally responsive parenting plan.

My client told the group she was there for a refresher on child-centered co-parenting, especially with an ex she often found frustrating to work with. Other women in the group shared stories and concerns about the challenge of keeping children at the center and out of the middle. We discussed the impact of divorce on kids, and the importance of keeping a crisis from becoming a trauma for children. Our discussion was thought-provoking and emotionally powerful.

At the end of the workshop, my former client revealed how difficult it had been during her divorce process to internalize messages about keeping children at the center and out of the middle, not blaming the other parent, and preserving her kids’ relationships with someone by whom she felt so betrayed. She has remained on a co-parenting high road on behalf of her children, even when she felt she was doing this unilaterally, and is more convinced than ever that this has been of benefit to her children and is the right thing to do. This personal revelation was a gift to the group.

Her final gift to the group was a heartfelt message of hope. She said while she was in the midst of a highly stressful divorce, she couldn’t have imagined how much healing could happen in a year. Her parting words, “Believe me, it gets better!” rang strong and true, both for her, and equally importantly, for her beloved children.

Deborah ClemmensenABOUT THE AUTHOR
Deborah Clemmensen
Licensed Psychologist

Deborah Clemmensen, M.Eq., Licensed Psychologist was a child and family clinician for many years before her discovery of Collaborative Team Practice in 2000 motivated the transformation of her professional role from therapist to Neutral Child Specialist. This work---hearing the voices of every family member during a divorce or break up, keeping children at the center and out of the middle, and assisting parents in the creation of developmentally responsive parenting plans---is both a passion and a privilege. Find out more about Deborah's work at www.deborahclemmensen.com

Tagged with:

One Response to “Believe me, it gets better!”

  1. Jennifer Morris says:

    Thank you, Deb, for many years of volunteering at Daisy Camp. You do marvelous work with parents by providing practical and realistic tools for co-parenting. Your guidance has helped re-frame and re-define parent’s expectations for the sake of the children and stability of the family.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>