Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Power of Forgiveness: The Gift You Give Yourself!

By Rosalind Sedacca, CCT

Forgiveness is a decision to let go of resentment, pain, hurt as well as thoughts of revenge. Forgiving doesn’t mean you are forgetting or denying the pain and hurt. It means you are releasing the grip it has over your life and focusing on more positive facets of life for your own well-being. Forgiving does not mean you deny the other person’s responsibility in hurting you, nor does it minimize it. We don’t forgive for the other person. We forgive because of the value it brings to us.

Through forgiveness you can better understand that no one is perfect -- that we all make mistakes. Forgiveness enables you to come to terms with your inner turmoil by letting go of the destructive thoughts you may be harboring inside – thoughts that cause you distress and discomfort. To forgive means you take back control of your life and dissolve the hateful thoughts that follow you wherever you go.

Here are some key points to understand about forgiveness and why all mental health practitioners consider it a major step forward in coping with life’s harshest experiences:

1. You forgive for its value to you – regardless of whether the other person “deserves” to be forgiven. It is about regaining your personal power.

2. You forgive because it feels better inside you. It also makes you “a bigger, better” person.

3. When you reach a state of forgiveness, you reduce the awkwardness of being together at gatherings -- relieving tension and uncomfortable moments. This can be especially valuable for family members after a divorce.

4. You experience a kind of emotional and spiritual peace and healing when you forgive. The offense loses its power over you and stops being the object of all your thoughts.

5. Forgiveness begins with a decision to stop harboring resentment and enables you to finally move on with your own life.

6. Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. It is not something you do for someone else. It is ultimately an internal decision and inner process.

7. With forgiveness, you give up playing the powerless role of victim.

8. An important step in the process of forgiveness is remembering the experience and seeking deeper understanding of its emotional impact on you. Then you decide to end the impact from a position of personal power!

9. The sense of personal power enables you to rise above the painful event and move it into your personal history, not part of your future life.

10. Through forgiveness, you become your own ally -- an agent of change in your own life. It introduces you to a new way of experiencing hurtful events without holding on to the pain.

11. Forgiveness begins when the victim starts to look at the accused as a fallible, imperfect human being who in many ways is not much different than him/herself.

12. The conscious act of forgiving will increase your self-esteem, reduce your anger and inhibit your anxiety.

For many, forgiveness is a process. You may not be able to totally let go today, but you can make that an intention and start in small ways. See how it feels to release the burden of resentment that you may be holding. Little by little you can free yourself of the weight of anger and experience the gift of peace and personal growth that comes with forgiveness!

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Rosalind Sedacca, CCT is the author of How Do I Tell the Kids about the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook™ Guide to Preparing Your Children -- with Love! Acclaimed by divorce professionals, the book provides fill-in-the-blank templates that guide parents in creating a family storybook with personal photographs as an ideal way to break the news. For more details, a free ezine, articles, coaching and other resources visit
© Rosalind Sedacca All rights reserved.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Dating after 40, 50 ... 60?

Watch co-authors Rosalind Sedacca, CCT and Amy Sherman, LMHC talk about their new book, 99 Things Women Wish They Knew Before Dating After 40, 50 & Yes, 60! on CBS News 12 in West Palm Beach.

Dating after 40, 50 ... 60?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

5 Ways to Safeguard Your Children During and After Divorce

By Rosalind Sedacca, CCT

Communication with our children is always important, but never as essential as when they are touched by separation or divorce. Children are vulnerable and easily frightened by changes in their routines. The more you talk to and comfort them, the less stress and anxiety they’ll experience. This is the time to reassure your children that you are taking care of matters and everyone in the family will be okay. Then, of course, take responsibility for doing what needs to be done to assure their well-being.

Here are five important ways you can help your children to thrive during and after your divorce.

1. Strive to keep as much normalcy in your children’s lives as is feasible. Maintaining relationships with friends and neighbors provides a sense of stability and continuity. Keeping children in the same school and remaining in the same house, when possible, serves to remind children that life is still going on as usual in many ways. That awareness makes it easier to adapt to the other changes happening at the same time. Always make decisions based on their emotional security.

2. Make spending time and attention with your children a priority. With all the stress in your life it’s easy to overlook your kid’s need for stability and security. The best source for that is you. It’s easy to take solace with friends or bury yourself in work, but your children need you more than ever right now. Your love and attention are the most valuable resources you can share with them. Make sure you are generous with both!

3. Talk to your children about ways to discuss the divorce with their friends and extended family. Coach them on answers to probing questions from the outside, such as, “I don’t know. My mom and dad are working on that.” Or “You’ll have to ask my mom about that.” Do whatever it takes to remember that your children deserve to have and keep their childhood. Let them be kids. Never burden them with adult responsibilities or communication.

4. Seek out other families who have experienced divorce as part of a new network. This can provide support and new friends for you as well as your children. They will appreciate meeting other kids who know what they are going through and can share feelings and stories. School guidance counselors may be able to help you find support groups, clubs or other gatherings.

5. Don’t wait for emotional or behavior problems to appear. It is often wise to talk to a family therapist in advance about issues to be aware of. Or schedule a few sessions with your children so they can express their anxiety, fear, anger, etc. and feel “heard” by an objective third party. Ask friends, pediatricians or school professionals for referrals to therapists experienced with divorce.

Some days you may want to hide in a closet or under the blankets in bed. So may your children. But they can’t always express what they are feeling and why. It is your responsibility to be diligent in protecting your children -- emotionally as well as physically. Keep the doors to communication open as non-judgmentally as you can. This will go a long way toward helping the children you love get through these challenging times with the best possible outcome.

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Rosalind Sedacca, CCT is a relationship seminar facilitator and author of the new ebook, How Do I Tell the Kids … about the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children -- with Love! For free articles, her blog, valuable resources on child-centered divorce or to subscribe to her free ezine, go to:

© Rosalind Sedacca, CCT All rights reserved.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Disciplining Children After Divorce: Limit their Behavior but Not their Thoughts

By Rosalind Sedacca, CCT

Discipline is always a challenge for parents. Regardless of the age your child may be, they inevitably find ways to act out, challenge your authority and test the limits of their boundaries. Often these behaviors create tension and disagreements between Mom and Dad, which children are good at exploiting to their advantage. This, of course, is the time for Mom and Dad to forge a solid bond of agreement regarding their approach to discipline. If they do, the child is less likely to test the waters and more likely to alter their behavior into more appropriate channels.

When separation or divorce takes place, disciplining children can become even more difficult, especially if Mom and Dad are not on good terms regarding parenting their children. Parental discord can open the door for children to move into behavioral extremes, pitting you and your former spouse against each other. We've all seen the consequences when this occurs, and your children are definitely on the losing end.

Marriage and family counselor Dr. Paul Wanio (a contributor to my internationally acclaimed book, How Do I Tell the Kids about the Divorce?) offers some sound advice on how to discipline your children without their developing a negative self-image. His suggestions include:

"Focus on limiting your child's behavior, but not your child's thoughts and feelings. If you do not allow your children the space to express who they are and how they feel about the subject at hand, they will repress the communication, but their resentment will incubate and grow.

"Remind your children that thoughts and feelings are not "bad," even when behavior is inappropriate. The difference is important for them to understand -- and for you to remember.

"Seek to influence thoughts, to understand and accept feelings and to improve their behavior. Making a conscious effort in this direction will bring rewards in terms of behavior changes and respect for you as a parent. This is obviously more difficult to do than it sounds, but it is definitely worth the effort. When children feel heard and accepted, they are much less likely to lash out at their parents, siblings, friends or school-mates.

"True discipline should not be thought of as punishment, but as a lesson to teach your child about Life. When you discipline from this mind-set, you will come from a supportive perspective and not get caught up in destructive behaviors yourself that come from vindictiveness and resentment."

Families that are dealing with divorce or separation need to pay particular attention to conscious disciplining. Children forced to handle the break-up of their family dynamic may be holding on to a broad range of feelings and thoughts that need to be expressed, accepted and influenced in a positive direction. I encourage parents to seek out the assistance of a counselor or other professional as soon as they sense any depression or other problem behaviors.

This is not a time to forego discipline, which is an essential part of the parenting process. It is a time to pay keen attention to your children to make sure they are moving through the challenges of "change" in their lives with age-appropriate acceptance and behaviors that fall within a normal range for your family.

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Rosalind Sedacca, CCT, has been facilitating relationship seminars and workshops for more than fifteen years. As a Certified Corporate Trainer and professional speaker, she now focuses her attention on coaching troubled families on how to create a "child-centered divorce." For other free articles on this subject, to receive her free ezine, and/or to order her book, How Do I Tell the Kids about the DIVORCE? A Create-a-Storybook Guide to preparing your children -- with Love! Rosalind invites you to visit her website,

Sunday, July 11, 2010

During National Child-Centered Divorce Month parents get free ebooks, coaching, teleclasses & more!

During National Child-Centered Divorce Month - throughout July - gifts are being offer to help parents make the best possible decisions regarding their children's well-being during and after separation or divorce.

Divorce attorneys, mediators, therapists, financial planners, coaches, educators, clergy and other professionals concerned about the effects of divorce on children will be sharing their advice and insights on the topic throughout July. Their goal is to educate parents about the choices they do have before moving into divorce to prevent negative consequences for children of all ages.

During July parents are encouraged to visit a special web page at which they can download a variety of free ebooks, audio presentations, services and other gifts from divorce professionals throughout North America. They can also access a series of free teleclasses presented by "child-centered" divorce experts providing sound advice on divorce and parenting issues. The complimentary information will be available at

In addition, divorce experts from coast to coast will also be announcing local educational events including teleseminars, workshops, discussion groups, coaching and other activities designed for divorced parents and those contemplating divorce.

As a divorced parent, divorce coach and author I initiated National Child-Centered Divorce Month for parents and work closely with concerned divorce experts around the globe who are focused on providing ways to create the most positive and harmonious outcomes for families transitioning through divorce.

My goal is to catch divorcing parents before they make mistakes they will regret when it comes to their children's emotional well-being. By bringing the nation's legal, therapeutic and educational communities together we can reach out through the media with messages designed to encourage peaceful divorce outcomes.

We want to discuss the painful consequences of parental alienation, encourage respectful co-parenting, teach effective communication skills, and guide parents away from litigation-based solutions. As many of you know, I am the author of the professionally acclaimed ebook, How Do I Tell the Kids about the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children -- with Love! My now grown son wrote the book's introduction. I am also the founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network which provides a free newsletter, articles and resources for parents at We can never overemphasize how dramatically parental decisions about divorce can affect and scar our children – for years – and often for a lifetime.

Parents and divorce professionals interested in learning more about activities related to National Child-Centered Divorce Month can get involved by contacting me through my Child-Centered Divorce Groups at Facebook and LinkedIn, which are free for parents and divorce professionals to join, or by visiting

For more information about Child-Centered Divorce Month in July contact me directly at or Scroll to the bottom of the Home page for updates. The gifts for parents during July can be found at:

Friday, June 25, 2010

Talking to Your Kids After Divorce Can be Tough – But Necessary!

By Rosalind Sedacca, CCT

As a divorced parent you can never pay too much attention to your communication skills with your children. It keeps the doors open to a healthier, more positive relationship with them. It makes you more sensitive to issues of concern early on so you can nip them in the bud. It encourages your children to talk about what they are feeling, questions they have and situations that are creating conflict for them.

Don’t sit down and say, let’s talk. Find comfortable times and places where conversation can flow naturally and easily. Then bring up related subjects in a casual way. Watching TV or movies at home can often be a catalyst for valuable conversation. Driving in the car together can also be a time of discussion, questions and sharing feelings.

Here are some tips that can help you ease into more productive communication with your kids.

· Asking why can be intimidating and close off your conversation. Instead ask what happened questions which keep the dialogue open.
· Be patient. Don’t react or respond until you get the full message. Sometimes it takes some meandering for your child to reach the crucial point of what they want to say. Don’t shut them off too soon!
· Remember that preaching, moralizing or “parenting” comments can put up barriers to clear communication. Listening is your most valuable skill and tool.
· Watch your judgments and put-downs, even with upsetting information. Don’t belittle your children, call them names or insult their behaviors. Talk to them – not at them! The difference is felt as respect.
· Acknowledge your children for coming to you. Praise their braveness. If you were at fault, apologize honestly and discuss how you can make changes for the future.
· Show that you accept and love them – even if their behaviors were not acceptable. Then help them come up with some acceptable solutions they can understand and feel good about.

Put yourself in your child’s place and you will likely make wiser decisions when it comes to talking about sensitive areas in their life. Afraid to talk about touchy subjects? Get some help from a counselor. It’s essential that you talk to your children and be role model for them. Don’t let them down!

Rosalind Sedacca, CCT is a relationship seminar facilitator and author of the new ebook, How Do I Tell the Kids … about the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children -- with Love! For free articles on child-centered divorce or to subscribe to her free ezine, go to:

© Rosalind Sedacca All rights reserved.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Make Smart Choices for Post-Divorce Co-Parenting Success

By Rosalind Sedacca, CCT

Divorce doesn’t end your co-parenting relationship with your former spouse. It only changes some of the form. It is still essential to create a working relationship focused on the optimum care and concern for your children. Every co-parenting relationship will be unique, affected by your post-divorce family dynamics. However, there are guidelines that will enhance the results for children in any family. Here are some crucial points to keep in mind to maximize your co-parenting success.
Respect your co-parent’s boundaries:

Chances are your former spouse has a different parenting style than you, with some conflicting rules. Rather than stress yourself about these differences, learn to accept that life is never consistent and it may actually be beneficial for your kids to experience other ways of doing things. Step back from micro-managing your co-parent’s life. If the kids aren’t in harm’s way, let go and focus on only the most serious issues before you take a stand.

Create routine co-parent check-ins:

The more co-parents communicate with one another about the children, the less likely for small issues to grow into major problems. Select days/times for phone, email or in-person visits. Discuss in advance visitation transfer agreements. List who’s responsible for what each day, week or month. Food, homework, curfews, health issues, allowances, school transportation, sport activities, play dates, holiday plans and more should be clearly agreed upon, when possible – or scheduled for further discussion. Once you have a clear parenting plan structured – follow it to the best of your ability. But allow for last-minute changes and special “favors” to facilitate cooperation.

Encourage your child’s co-parent relationship:

Regardless of your personal feelings about your ex, your children need a healthy connection with their other parent. Keep snide comments to yourself and don’t discuss your parenting frustrations with your children. Encourage your kids to maintain a caring, respectful relationship with their other parent. Remind them about Mom or Dad’s birthday and holiday gifts. Make time in the weekly schedule for phone calls, cards, email and letters to keep the children’s connection alive when your co-parent is at a distance. Your children will thank you when they grow up.

Be compassionate with your in-laws:

Remember that a Grandparent’s love doesn’t stop after divorce. If your children had a healthy bond with your former spouse’s extended family, don’t punish them by severing that connection. Children thrive on family attachments, holiday get-togethers and traditions they’ve come to love. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins can be a great source of comfort to children during stressful times and a sense of continuity with the past. Dissolving those relationships is hurtful to both your children and the other family. Think long and hard before making such an emotionally damaging decision.

Above all, be flexible. When you allow calls from your co-parent when the kids are in your home, they will be more receptive to your calls when the tables are turned. Remember, you are still a parenting team working on behalf of your children. That commonality should enable you to overlook the thorns in your co-parenting relationship and focus on the flowering buds that are the children you are raising.

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Rosalind Sedacca, CCT is a Certified Corporate Trainer, founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network and author of the ebook, How Do I Tell the Kids … about the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children -- with Love! Her free articles, ezine, blog, coaching, teleseminars and other valuable resources for parents facing, moving through or transitioning after divorce can be found at:

© Rosalind Sedacca All rights reserved.