The Smart Divorce® Weblog

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Change Your Brain, Transform Relationships

What if you could change the negative thoughts and behaviors that have been detrimental to healthy relationships in the past? Have you ever had feelings of being blamed, unappreciated, rejected or even un-loved in a past or current relationship? Imagine what would happen if you were able to “rewire” your brain and eliminate your negative feelings and replace them with positive feelings that make you feel  accepted, appreciated valued, loved and successful.

David Folk

David Folk

On this episode of The Smart Divorce, recorded at The Family Support Expo in Toronto, co-founder of NEXT Integrative Mind Sciences, David Folk joins us to discuss the potential to changing our brain and transform relationships. (Neuroplasticity)

David’s NEXT program guides students through a series of exercises that teach you to utilize your brain’s own natural plasticity by creating new and lasting patterns of behavior.  Armed with new abilities for emotional behavioral regulation, graduates of the couples and families program consistently report radical improvements to their relationships compared to when they began the program.

Learn how developments in neuroscience can benefit your life in this exciting program.  For more information on David Folk and the NEXT program, visit: www.The NextProgram.com.

To listen click here


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Little Children, Big Challenges: Divorce

There’s a great new initiative  developed by the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) and Sesame Street which is an an important and valuable resource for parents, Little Children, Big Challenges: Divorce . The program, featuring Muppet Abby Cadabby, provides tools and language to help young children (ages 2-8) cope with and understand divorce at an age-appropriate level. Project resources include a free mobile app, online resources, and multimedia toolkits containing a children’s storybook, a caregiver guide, and a DVD. These materials are available online at sesamestreet.org/divorce and through the Resource Center on the AFCC website. Divorce can be a big challenge for both children and parents. Though times may be difficult, children can emerge feeling loved and supported. You can all grow through these family changes and discover just how strong you really are.

You are not alone. Family, friends, neighbors, and others are there to offer support. Here are some tools to help your child through your divorce.

To view this fabulous new program and for more details click here 

Information from the SesameWorkshop

Each year about 1.5 million children confront the divorce of their parents1, a transition that can be challenging for the entire family, especially young children. While 40% of families experience this, there are few resources to show children they are not the only ones with big questions and feelings about divorce.  In response, Sesame Workshop has launched Little Children, Big Challenges: Divorce, a series of free multi-media resources, to support families through this transition which can be very difficult, especially for young children. These new materials are a continuation of Sesame Workshop’s award-winning Military Families Initiative launched in 2006 that provides resources and emotional support to military families with children, ages 2 to 8, coping with challenging transitions in their lives.

As with all content produced by Sesame Workshop, this outreach initiative began with a thorough research process, which included consulting with an advisory board of key experts in child development, early childhood, and mental health fields to guide and shape key content messages. Continuing the process, Sesame Workshop conducted focus groups with parents and service providers to ensure that all of the resources effectively meet the needs of children and families.  Sesame Workshop created Little Children, Big Challenges: Divorce, in order to:

  • Provide tools and language to help young children (ages 2–8) cope with and understand divorce at an age-appropriate level,
  • aid families in communicating and expressing feelings around divorce and
  • reassure children that they will be cared for, and that—together with their families—they can learn ways to adjust to their new life and have hope for the future.

“With our new resources on divorce, Sesame Workshop continues a 43-year-long history of tackling the most relevant and challenging issues for children,” said H. Melvin Ming, President and CEO of Sesame Workshop. “During difficult times, it’s vitally important that children feel supported and develop coping skills that will help them throughout their entire lives.  Sesame Workshop is committed to providing the highest quality resources to families dealing with life’s challenges.”

Little Children, Big Challenges: Divorce includes:

  • A new Sesame Street DVD, featuring the Muppets and real families, that highlights strategies around expressing emotions and how to talk to children about divorce;
  • A Parent/Caregiver Guide providing helpful resources, language and advice for discussing divorce with children and helping them navigate changes;
  • A Children’s StorybookTwo-Hug Day, about a young boy named Niko who is transitioning between his parents’ two homes, and
  • An online toolkit at sesamestreet.org/divorce providing access to all project resources, as well as additional online-only materials:
    • An Extended Family & Friends tip sheet
    • Webinars and online discussion sessions giving service providers and families a thorough understanding of how to engage with their families and communities
    • A Facebook page called Sesame Street in Communities connecting our online community to Sesame’s resiliency messages and materials.
  • A mobile app: Sesame Street: Divorce, featuring resources and tools for parents and caregivers; available on the App Store (SM) and Google Play ™.

“With the frequency of children experiencing divorce and or separation today, it is critical to help children understand that the feelings or questions they may have are typical and should be discussed with a parent or caregiver, said Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, Senior Vice President for Outreach and Educational Practices at Sesame Workshop.  “These strategies will help children cope with changes as well as support them in understanding they are not alone.”

The resource kits will be distributed to military and veteran families through partnerships with Military OneSource, Department of Veterans Affairs, The USO, and The Military Child Education Coalition. These resources are also being distributed to families in the general public through national partnerships with organizations such the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. On a local level, distribution will reach children and their families though faith-based programs, school and after school programs, through counseling and mental health services, parenting programs, and child care systems. Military families can contact Military OneSource directly at militaryonesource.mil to request a kit.


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Learning From Your Divorce

There are many lessons that we can learn from divorce, and these are shared in Weddings& Honeymoons magazine. I was recently interviewed by Nicole Gioseffi of Weddings & Honeymoons at the Divorce Party , to find how to keep the honeymoon thrive, despite the high divorce rate.  This is what was shared:

Marriage Tips for Couples at Divorce Party

Marriage tips for couples at Divorce Party

By: Nicole Gioseffi

Divorce is not a dirty little secret anymore rather it has become a common and normal part of life for many.

Divorce can conjure feelings of anger, frustration, sadness and resentment. How can true happiness occur with such emotion at the forefront?

The key to moving on is finding out how to let go of that anger and frustration and yes even finding the ability to forgive each other. For many, this is easier said than done.

Luckily, there are ways and outlets available to divorces that will help them in finding their inner peace.  Outlets such as self-help books, dating services and special events geared for single and divorced individuals.

On Friday September 21, 2012 Canada’s largest Divorce Single and Mingle Party was held downtown Toronto at the Capitol Entertainment Theater. Although the event was called a “Divorce Party”, you did not have to be divorced in order to attend. The event was organized so that like-minded individuals could have the opportunity to meet new people and be comfortable in their own skin. The event offered a live DJ, wine tasting, a fashion show and the opportunity for people to listen to keynote speakers who specialized in the area of divorce.

One of the keynote speakers was Deborah Moskovitch, pictured on right with W&H writer Nicole Gioseffi, who is a divorce coach, speaker, educator and author of the book The Smart Divorce.  Deborah speaks from experience as she herself has been divorced for 16 years.

She explains that her divorce was a difficult time in her life and finding the ways to overcome it was a challenge. She said the most important thing you can do individually is to heal at your own speed and learn to forgive and let go. Through the process of her divorce, Deborah channeled her emotions into writing her book, which helped her heal. The book is equipped with proven strategies and valuable advice.

Click here to read the whole article and the vital advice.


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Special for Clients, Friends, Fans and Followers of The Smart Divorce

Divorce Party the Musical: The hilarious journey to hell……and back!

Divorce is emotional, it’s fraught with fear and uncertainty, something definitely not to poke fun at or take lightly.  But, given what we know, and  how devastating divorce may be, this can also be a time to reach out and bring some humour into life, if only for an evening.

I share this play because it treats divorce with dignity, while providing  friendly fun……a night of entertainment and a temporary escape from reality. And,  a special offer of savings for the event. Read below…….

To learn more about The Smart Divorce visit www.thesmartdivorce.com

The Smart Divorce is your one stop shop for cost effective divorce support


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Don’t Divorce Me! Kids’ Rules for Parents on Divorce

Have you watched the new documentary on HBO – Don’t Divorce Me!  If you haven’t already done so, I strongly suggest you do.

This is the most incredible program providing a voice to children of divorce.  They share their do’s and don’ts of what their parents are doing right and wrong throughout the divorce process and beyond.  The important tips they share are:

  1. Don’t use your kids as messengers
  2. Let them know that the divorce isn’t there fault
  3. Don’t fight
  4. Love your children (too much)
  5. They want to spend time with both mom and dad
  6. Keep the kids out of the middle
  7. Try to make sure that your parents get both kids kind of equally
  8. Don’t ask me to spy

These kids are smart are tell parents in such a powerful way what they could be doing better.  Children are the ones that live out the divorce…..so let’s give our children the best chances and listen to their message.

If you’re having trouble coping emotionally, understanding the importance of putting your children’s best interest first, healing through the divorce process for a happier, healthier future, then you will definitely want to check out The Smart Divorce ToolKit – a cost-effective and valuable divorce support resource.

I’ve written previous blog posts about The Children’s Best Interests.  Check them out:


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Five Steps to a Healthier You, Post-Divorce

Make no mistake; divorce is upper case Emotional. When I decided to leave my marriage, I could not imagine how I would ever say the “d” word to my children or spell out how their lives would change. While I accepted whole-heartedly that my priority was to put my children’s best interests first, I was also painfully aware of how my world was uncoupling and changing. Even though almost 40 per cent of marriages end in divorce, I felt little comfort from a statistic.

At first, I felt very overwhelmed most days. I vividly recall many dreams of moving through scary-divorce-land bogged down by a big bad trunk of fear, anxiety, guilt and anger. I knew I had to unload the trunk to get anywhere but I did not want to “deal.” And, who could even think of dating. But the truth is, that while I knew it was important to put my children’s best interests first, I also knew that it was important to get my own life on track if I was going to be a good parent and role model.

As I began to rebuild my life post-split I quickly realized I had choices — I could choose to be a victim, or I could choose to move on, and it was up to me to build a good life, a happy and fulfilling life. Yes, the future was fraught with uncertainty but I reframed that thought and looked at what I could do to make life better, happier and brighter. The life I’ve now created is beyond my wildest dreams. If anyone would have told me in the darkest of my emotional days that I would be a divorce coach, a best selling Canadian author, a keynote speaker at The Divorce Party — and so much more, I would have told them they were dreaming. But, by opening myself up to new experiences and being open minded, I learned that divorce is rich in opportunity to learn and grown from — and grow I did.

To find out the 5 steps, read the full article here 


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I’ll be Mine for Valentine’s Day

What’s the true meaning of Valentines Day? While today it appears to represent a day of love and romance, according to folklore, it actually originated with Roman Christians who were martyred during the third century A.D.; three of whom were saints named Valentine. It’s fascinating how the day, February 14, evolved from being one of honoring martyrs to becoming a day associated with romantic love and turning into a significant commercial success enjoyed by many retailers!

So, while Valentines Day is associated with romance, flowers, cards and chocolate, it’s not a statutory holiday; you don’t get the day off and you don’t have to celebrate if you don’t want to. Then, what do you do if you find yourself dateless with no one to send a special Valentine greeting? The answer is easy, you could:

  • Skip the holiday all together. Ignore it and treat it like another regular day.
  • Use it as an excuse to buy yourself a beautiful bouquet of flowers, box of chocolates or bottle of champagne.
  • Celebrate it with your children and surprise them with chocolate goodies that you don’t usually let them have.
  • Have some friends over and indulge in a decadent chocolate fondue party.
  • Do a good deed. This will make you feel good and someone else too.
  • Celebrate love, and love yourself. Do something special for yourself.

To cap it off, many couples I know don’t celebrate it either. The truth is, if it doesn’t make you comfortable, you don’t have to play!