Divorced Parenting: Stepping Beyond Awareness to Create a Change in Consciousness

Divorced Parenting: Stepping Beyond Awareness to Create a Change in Consciousness

“I can’t believe I did that again.”   What is That?

Did you say something negative about your ex in front of your child?
Did you not call your child today, yesterday, the day before while she was at her other parent’s house?
Did you scramble from activity to activity, never taking the time to ask your child how she’s feeling?
Did you grumble as you bought another outfit for your child, noting that it would be nice if your ex would buy stuff?

That is pointed out every time you continue to do something that you know you shouldn’t.  Your friend doesn’t need to tell you that you should stop dis-ing your child’s dad in front of her; you are already aware of that.  A book doesn’t need to tell you that your child needs to hear from you when she isn’t with you; you are already aware of that.  This blog doesn’t need to tell you to stop complaining because you have to clothe the child that you brought into this world; you are already aware of that.  But awareness isn’t enough to keep you from doing it again.  And again.  You’re like a broken record, stuck in the same groove.  And it’s your child that is forced to hear that.

It isn’t that you don’t KNOW that you shouldn’t do or say certain things in front of your children.  It’s more to the point that you keep doing, keep saying, those soul diminishing things in spite of knowing.  And often, parents do so with a trumpet.  “I know I shouldn’t say it, but, I can’t stand my ex!”  Right.  You shouldn’t say it in front of your child.  But you just did.  “I know I should call her more often but I just don’t.”  Why?  Why isn’t awareness enough to make you change?

It takes a change in consciousness.  As one parent recently told me, he used to be an “absentee father”. It took years, but he started clearing away the fog and became aware of his old ways.  But through his journey of awareness, he still struggled with parenting in a nurturing way: making that call, sending that note, visiting his child.  It would take something else to change his behavior.  It would take focus on the Now.  Realization that Today, Now, he could make the choice to either continue to be that which he was or show his child who he is now.  Today he could call.  And if tomorrow comes and he didn’t call, then Today he could call.  And if tomorrow comes and he didn’t call, then Today he could call.  Everyday, we are given a fresh chance to make a change in consciousness. 

While his child may have questioned whether she was loved by her dad through her childhood, today, when he calls, they create a new history.  The next time I see this father, I will ask him when he last spoke to his child.  This time when he exclaims that he did that again, I suspect he will mean “talking to her”.  At that point, we all will know that he leapt into a change in consciousness, taking his child along with him on a new nurturing journey.

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Ellen Kellner encourages divorced parents to change their parenting consciousness in The Pro-Child Way: Parenting with an Ex Available on Amazon. Ellen Kellner, all rights reserved.

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