Because of her passion, Jodi Seidler has been profiled on hundreds of Web sites and dozens of publications, including: Single Parents Magazine, Child Magazine, USA Today, The LA Times and The Milwaukee Journal; She’s carried the Making Lemonade message to her own radio show, as well as national radio and TV talk shows, such as: “Inside Edition”, “Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus”, “Berman and Berman: For Women Only”, UPN, Channel 13 News, “The Other Half”, “From Inspiration to Realization”, CBS Evening News, KCAL News, and The New York Times. Jodi Seidler knows how to help the newly single get beyond divorce and date as a single parent.
Making Lemonade (A Guidebook for Life after Divorce) (Kindle Ebook)
When your child begins to act out after the divorce, it seems like, in a business sense, that your child is trying to be a CEO of the family! Some of that is okay because they are stretching their communication legs to state who they are (or think they are) and what they want from the family structure. It’s tough when you’re a single parenting after your marriage has dissolved. Coping with divorce and helping children cope with that, as well as helping them learn to become an independent being, can be difficult. The best way to circumvent this behavior from repeating over and over is to set rules within the house and also have a conversation with your ex (if you aren’t really on speaking terms, then I propose you use e-mail). This conversation will be about creating the same rules in both homes.
With consistency and same rules applying, there is less wiggle room for tantrums and mutiny. You can create an agreement that you can tell your child about, and they can sign to make it official. You can say to your child “Oh really, daddy (or mommy) said you have ice cream for dinner whenever you want? Let’s go call him now and find out if that’s true.” Watch how quickly your child says, “Just kidding.” The more you say, “Let’s ask daddy or mommy” the more this behavior will cease.
Now, remember it takes 21 days to break a habit (at least for adults) so be patient and know when this behavior ceases something else will pop up. It’s ALL age appropriate. Talk to other parents with children the same age that are single parents and you’ll see what I mean. Share tips with each other — it’s actually fun.
Your child is testing his/her power by manipulating, and as they grow, so do the tests. So, take your vitamins and show your child who is the adult and the boss, and allow them to take responsibility for their actions by saying, “let’s call daddy…” Chances are you’ll never have to make that call!
Some of us remember very clearly what it was like to be a teenager; the hormones, the penetrating fears and desires, the need to be accepted by our peers and the growing pains. Add to the equation – being raised by a single parent and the divorce phenomenon and all that entails.
As single parents we are drawn to feeling our teenager’s pain and being ever aware of our lack of control and ability to share our wisdom without a gut-wrenching sigh or their famous eye-rolling techniques. We really have to draw from our memory of what it was like to be a hormone-sensitive teenager when we parent through these years. We no longer have a child to mold or a child to ‘boss around’.
We have our parent karma inherited from our parents…those words daunt us “may YOU have a child that treats YOU the way you treat me”. Those words have always created panic in us; it’s the curse that is passed down from parent child.
I love the idea of passing down my knowledge and state of being to my son, even though he isn’t quite wise enough yet to know it is his gift to the world. These teenage years are tough for parents – yet alone SINGLE parents. There is NO “wait till your father gets home” or “Your mother will deal with you about this”. All we have is the male and female within US…
What a hormonal challenge the life of a teenager is – and as parents — oh my god – give us strength. We’ve been there but the world is SO different now than it was when we were teens and there we are without a compass or a map! All I know to do is be there for our kids to make sure their wrong turns aren’t dangerous and that we don’t squash their creativity or dreams in the meantime.
We’re all teenagers at heart, some of us never grow out of it and others can’t wait to jump into adulthood and all the details therein. I believe it’s a time of growth, compassion, unconditional love and bonding if we can keep the lines of communication open so that our teenagers know they can come to us even in their dark night of the soul. And, it IS a lesson in patience, believe me!
I over hear conversations in the nail salon, at happy hour and at the gym about how jaded some people get after a divorce. I gave it a lot of thought and queried my friends to hear what their feelings about it were. Are we really jaded after a break-up – and do we broadcast that without even knowing it? WOW. Have I become jaded? Untrusting? Nonchalant? Waiting for the other shoe to drop and therefore not moving forward?
I know from raising my son from Kindergarten through High School that most of the kids in his classes are from divorced homes. And I know that a lot of the men I have dated post-divorce should have come with warning labels, when they are newly divorced. It is so painful to hear about the ex or their attorney or the poor kids on a first date, although I understand how hard it is to move through the death of a marriage, or relationship. We all have wounds and memories; we are all children somewhere inside.
I always wondered if my own son will grow up with certain issues that actually stem from the loss of living with his mom and dad in a home together. Kids have a way of getting away with things when they move from one house to another. And we all know OUR parents ‘did the best they could with what they were given’…however, how many hours of therapy did THAT take to really get it.
There are no shortcuts, but there is a get real time we all have to go through, facing who we are and taking our own inventory. Am I kind? Am I honest? Am I carrying the pain of someone else’s lies with me? We certainly don’t want to be punished for someone else’s mistakes and neither do we want to project onto a new date or partner what happened to us in the past. Therefore, it is important to make sure we have gone through a healing, however we do it (with friends, a trusted counsellor, anyone you feel safe with). It is important not just for us and our future, but also for our children’s future relationships. Remember, we are role models. Gulp…..YES, our children’s eyes are upon us!