The Top 5 Benefits Of Using A Positive Parenting Profile in Divorce.
Posted by: Sue Atkins
I’ve used Positive Profiles in my work for many years and can’t rave enough about their usefulness for improving communication, relationships, a child’s self esteem and self confidence
More recently I have been using positive profiles posters to help children and families going through the often challenging and traumatic experience of a divorce as well as working with children whose parents have separated, experiencing all of the changes that this can bring; from living in two different homes, splitting their time between mum and dad, moving schools, to experiencing lots of changing routines,
I tell my clients; divorce is a process not an event and over time you begin to see the opportunities that change can open up for you.
My children are grown up now but many of the parents that I work with have younger children and they come to me because they understand that divorce is life changing and that whilst the adults are making the decisions the children can be left feeling like everything that they knew is different, leading to feelings of powerlessness, insecurity and isolation.
By using a simple positive profile poster with families going through divorce we are able to uncover what is working and not working from the child’s perspective, what is important to them and for them and what support they need during this time. It puts the child at the centre of the decision making and brings back the focus to them so that their voices are heard above the noise of a relationship break-up.
I use positive profiles with parents too before we sit down with the children. Supporting mum or dad to feel empowered and in control is critical to their wellbeing and therefore their ability to support their children through divorce. The more I work with families and see the results that positive profiles can have, the more I would like to see them being used more frequently with children whose parents are getting divorce. Perhaps it is a service that divorce solicitors could offer to their clients to help their children process this life changing event?
I would like to see schools using them to help a child communicate their feelings through their profile when things are difficult at home. I often think about how we can get this resource out there to as many people as possible so that they too can experience its benefits and feel happier and better supported because of it.
I know first-hand that positive profiles can be invaluable to keeping communication flowing and reminding us all about what is important and to whom during divorce and I’m just glad that more people are going to hear about them through this blog.
The top 5 benefits for using positive profiles in divorce:
It puts the child at the centre of the divorce, ahead of the emotions of the parents, ahead of any disagreements and firmly at the heart of all decision making.
It can make a child feel listened to at a time when their voice could be lost amidst the noise, drama and pain of a relationship break-up.
It helps parents gain clarity; direction and confidence about what mum and dad need to do to support their child in the way they want to feel supported through all the changes.
It gives children and parents who use positive profiles a sense of choice and control at a time of extreme change.
Because of the way a positive profile is structured, the information is so simple, quick and easy to digest it can be shown to school, other family members and friends so that people outside of the immediate family can contribute to supporting the child during the divorce process.
Shifting into a good place – positive profiles in divorce
Here’s an example of how this Mum used a one
positive profile to address what was working and not working in her life and to make positive statements to achieve better support and long term change.
Mary’s positive profile
Mary is an Estate Agent who lives in North London. Her family live 50 miles from her so she felt a little isolated from practical support. Mary was going through a divorce and came to me because she was feeling overwhelmed and confused. Her work was suffering as she couldn’t concentrate which bothered her greatly. She also felt that she was impatient, tearful and short tempered with her children and wasn’t being consistent in her discipline.
I went through the positive profile process as an overview – explaining what a positive profile was, how it could work for her as well as for her children and that we would be looking at what was working and not working from her view point first – as if she shifted into a good place everything would change and get better
The positive profile was primarily used to build back Mary’s self esteem as it had taken a battering since splitting up with her husband and her confidence was low. This meant she was finding it difficult to make decisions about finances, selling the house, dividing furniture, sharing out photos and sorting out the children. On top of these practicalities she was of course experiencing all the emotional guilt, despair and grief that comes from the break-up of a marriage.
Mary’s positive profile made an enormous difference, quickly, easily and simply. Mary soon felt back in control of small areas of which then built her confidence to tackle the larger things. Her relationship with her children improved, she felt more in control of their discipline and boundaries and she began to create her own NEW traditions and ways of doing things which felt empowering
After just the initial first one-hour session Mary told me she felt SO much better and it took just three weeks of these sessions to really see her long term confidence return. We still top her up once a month now to keep her sense of moving forward and address what is working and not working which is an ongoing process. The great thing about positive profiles is that you can add to them and adapt them as what is important to you and what support you need changes. They evolve with you and so continue to work to empower and support you as you move into new areas of your life.
Let’s have a chat about ways I can help your family on 01883 818329