Divorcing, Separating: How to tell your Children in such Difficult time…
Love your Children no Matter What…
I would like to start by telling a story. A year ago I was playing with my 8 years old daughter; I’m pretty sure this time I wasn’t Princess Leia, this time, and she was telling me how much, older, she would love to be a teacher and a dancer.
I thought that would be great and I suggest she could teach dance. ‘No, No Daddy.’ she says: ‘I want to be a teacher and a dancer…’
An then she asked me what I wanted to do at her age.
Well I said, you know, I had 3 main dreams. I wanted to be an architect and I’ve been an architect. I wanted to be a film director and I’ve been a film director, but it is unlikely I will achieve the last one.
‘But why Daddy, why?’ She asked.
‘Well, you see, I’m 50 years old and it is unlikely that I will become an Astronaut and walk on the Moon’
And straight away, with unconditional love she says;: ’ Don’t worry Daddy, as soon as you die I send your ashes to the Moon!…’
This is why I believe in the future generations. I believe if we take more time to Learn, Observe and Listen to children, we can help them to thrive and develop their mindfulness and ours too.
I have decided to bring more positivity into life in order to support families and help them to build better and stronger relationship.
Observing and understanding the next generations motivate me to develop new concepts and ideas to create improved tools they can use to prosper and make this planet better place with Humanity at its center.
I also believe we are all driven by our emotions and we are all looking for happiness.
But what does ‘Feeling Happy’ really mean ?
Words are very powerful and can really hurt so It is quite important to be accurate when we express ourselves.
We are not our emotions, we are feeling them.
Understanding this will allow us to move from a painful sensation to a better emotion.
And, I have been asking myself what makes us most happy?
The answer I found is: when we are recognised, when we are significant.
When we feel connected to others and identified as a unique individual, only then we experience happiness.
It is like a bit like a ‘switch’. We are aware about existing physically and mentally, but we need someone to complete the circuit to exist emotionally.
This mean that we only feel complete if we are, somehow, welcomed by our parents and our peers.
Our first experience is on our very first day on this planet, just after we are born.
That moment when your Mother and your Father welcome you is your very first encounter with existence; when you are physically and mentally recognised.
This will imprint on your brain forever as a core memory of your individuality.
I admit it does sound quite technical. What is the difference between a memory and a core memory. I will answer by asking you one question: What are you more likely to remember?
- A warm sunny day in Cornwall enjoying a nice ice cream or the day you are invited to do a Tedx talk?
Well for me, that was easy…
I would like know to invite you to do an experiment.
Please close your eyes and imagine yourself are a new born baby. You just took your first breath. Cold hands are on your skin. You are turned over, upside down. You hear voices, sounds, maybe you’re making these noises yourself.
At last, you’ll probably end up on your Mum’s chest, receiving your first kisses and experience of love — hearing her heartbeat from outside and then getting a gulp of a warm liquid, your first taste. Then you might land on your Dad’s chest and falling asleep in tune to his heartbeat…
How amazing! So amazing that you can imagine how happy I was when our first child was on its way. I red books, made sure my wife was prepared a bit like an athlete.
We thought the idea of her giving birth in a pool.
We went visiting the closest unit to our home, and just when the nurse was reaching her selling point, telling us how fantastic and safe it is we heard this amazing scream of pain from next door.
It was enough to convince us to go to the main hospital.
So we attended yoga classes. I bought the best pain relief machine I could find and I gave my wife regular massages to relieve her from feet and back pain.
I purchased a nice TV series about landscape and nature to relax us between the contractions and I bought some lovely meditative music to listen during the contractions time.
Everything was packed and prepared for D-Day — the Delivery Day, of course.
We had an amazing 24h delivery. I remember it like yesterday. To finally see our healthy little girl grabbing her first breath and landing safely on her Mum was a magical moment. Holding and cuddling this tiny, vulnerable, blind and barely formed body was a moving moment.
And it is magical, isn’t it? Everyone in this room went through same kind of process.
Every human on this planet have this in common.
I had a clear idea about what becoming a Dad would be. I wanted to be present, to nurture. I was determined to play my parental engagement.
I improved our nest, our house and did part of the daily tasks.
I was happy to get involved in the baby routines. As parents, it felt we were like bird taking their turn to hunt for food or care of our offspring.
Bathing, feeding, changing clothes, cleaning became a second nature.
And indeed there is nothing quite like shopping at 10:00 pm in a supermarket looking for nappies, wipes, baby milk and vaseline…
In the field of education, my dad was a role model. As a teacher and later a Secondary school director I was inspired by his philosophy, his pedagogy.
It has been a shock, as a kid, to discover that school wasn’t always my Dad’s way.
Despite his effort, I was missing our time together. His work was demanding and so was I.
Between the two my Dad struggle to choose and for years and I felt I had paid the price.
From this deep feeling I was determined to be present for our daughter from the beginning, even before birth. Involved as much as I could in parenting.
Along the way, more than the emotional and social aspect I discovered a biological one.
Another thing that, we human, share all together.
From the beginning of our conception every part of our self work together. Every single cell is programmed to work with all others, in harmony and cooperation.
And in the inevitable event of limited time, our response as a living creature is to reproduce and transmit our genetic code…
This is why our children are so precious. They carry a bit of us through space and time…
Sometimes it takes less than a second to fall in love. It takes the same amount of time to cause dramatic consequences to a child’s mind
Sadly, in 2011 my wife and I started the process of separation, when our daughter was just 4 years old. I wasn’t ready for this and yes, it hurts. One day you are a family pack and the next day you become a lone stranger with broken dreams…
One positive element during this time was that my wife and I were both determined to protect our daughter from the negatives consequences of the separation.
We did everything we could — we sought advice, read books and went online, but we never found what we were looking for.
In response to our frustrations, I decided to create a personalised book for our daughter. It took me three weeks to craft the final version, which was made up of pictures and cartoons, as she could not read. Waiting for the right moment to present the book to her was quite tense.
It was a Sunday afternoon. She was sitting between us. I opened the book and begun to tell her our story, her story: a love story.
In the first chapter she discovered where Mum and Dad come from, how we met, fell in love and got married. The second chapter showed her arrival and the lovely time we had all together.
The third chapter illustrated that, as life went on, Mum and Dad realised that there were some differences between them and decided to go their own ways. But how no matter what happened between us all: “we love you!” (we love her).
And it doesn’t stop there. There is a the future, in the fourth chapter ‘You will have two houses, two bedrooms, go to school with Mum or Dad, see your friends, meet new ones and still have lots of fun. But most important of all: ‘No matter what: We love you!”
And the key message here is: ‘ We might not be a loving couple anymore but we are still loving parents and for ever.’
We shut the book and after a little silence she said — and I quote her here: ‘Thank you for my book!‘ It was quite an emotional moment.
I will never forget that. The next day, we had some friends visited with their children. The very first thing our daughter did was to grab the book, show it the kids and said: ’Look, look how much my parents love me!’ That was amazing. Beautiful.
It was such a pure moment it did provide us valuable healing.
Whenever I visit my wife’s house these days, to pick up our daughter, the book is always somewhere around her in the house.
‘There is no friend as loyal as a book ‘ said Hemingway.
You know books stimulate both of our main senses, sight and touch.
From this personal experience, inspired by my daughter, I have decided to help parents, family who wish to support their children while facing separation.
Since I embarked on this adventure and publish this concept I have been moved by people story, their feelings and connections with the book.
I heard divorcee, young adults, children of divorce, grandparents, all wishing to heal the past and reconnect.
I even listened to nurses who wanted to buy this book to help Alzheimer’s patients and their family.
More than a concept it is a time machine which with everyone can travel back and forth through space and time. A place for memories not for remembrance.
A place where everyone can find love and heal separation.
I do believe in the next generations. It is down to them to create a brighter future. It is our responsibility to make sure they will have everything they need to do so.
As we are already history we have to embrace, seize the moment and make the most of it to positively improve our children’s wellbeing and emotional heritage.