To Make Peace After Divorce, Watch Your Language

Author Judy Osborne

You’re done.  Either you’re getting a divorce, or you already have one.  You want nothing to do with your ex.  But, oops, you have kids.  You realize that although you have left your marriage, you still want to be a good parent. According to author Judy Osborne, you can do both.  In her book, Wisdom for Separated Parents, she demonstrates that there are ways to “rearrange” relationships (post separation) to benefit the children.

After thirty years as a marriage and family therapist and personally experienced with divorce, Osborne shares that the use of language is key to peacemaking. Language, she says, shapes our thinking. Osborne notes that with so many evolving family forms, including blended families and same-sex parents, we often find that language has not adequately kept pace with reality – so new descriptors are required.

Specifically, Osborne writes, “Divorce is not only a single legal event but also a psychological chain of relocation, shifting relationships and other changes.” “Rearranging” then is a more accurate descriptor of the process. Citing her own family as an example, she characterizes it as one that is rearranged, not as one that is ‘broken’.

By carefully choosing our words, Osborne suggests divorced parents can keep their relationships with children in a healthier balance, creating connection rather than strife.  Using words like untangling, kin, and co-parenting helps create a more open, positive mindset than using words with more of a negative connotation.  Here’s a short podcast where Osborne not only shares a few stories about the value of making peace but also tips on how to do it.

To be sure, “Wisdom for Separated Parents, Rearranging around the Children to Keep Kinship Strong” is a book that delivers knowledge well beyond language tips.  Osborne’s insights are peppered with fascinating personal stories of sadness, insight and joy as she relates her findings from more than 50 interviews with men and women who have been separated for at least 10 years.  Check out the book and her website at www.wisdom­forseparat­edparents.­com.

Be Sociable, Share!

Date: Thursday, 19. January 2012 0:52
Trackback: Trackback-URL Category: Family, Relationships, Wellness

Feed for the post RSS 2.0 Comment this post

Submit comment