Living and learning

January 29, 2010

One of the things I like best about blogging is those moments when I take a deep breath and actually venture out from behind the safe barrier of my computer screen and meet real people.

I’m not gregarious by nature. I often find people frightening, or strange (as I’m sure they may well find me) and I don’t, by any means, love everyone I bump into. But blogging seems to work excellently as a sifting mechanism, and I’ve felt an affinity with almost everyone I’ve met through my funny little meanderings.

Last night was a case in point, as the lovely Ingrid Marsh invited me on to her Getting Your Groove Back show on Sydenham Radio. It’s an upbeat, positive show, aiming to help women over life’s lumps and bumps, and last night’s theme was children and divorce. Now, if I ever went on Mastermind, this would now soooo be my specialist subject. But there was something even I didn’t know – you can now get a life coach for your children to steer them through these choppy waters.

Naomi Richards is, in fact, the UK’s first kids’ coach and was also Ingrid’s other guest. She says that, more and more, the children she is called in to help are struggling in the wake of their parents’ separation or divorce. Overwhelmingly, they are angry at the situation they find themselves in.

I remember when I told a friend  I was getting divorced and she said, ‘what you need is a good lawyer, and a good therapist.’ I did get a therapist – for the children – who then turned on me and said I needed treatment myself. My children saw her for a while, I saw her for longer, and we all did benefit from it – but it was a traumatic process, when we were already going through a process that was quite traumatic enough, thank you.

From what Naomi told me about life coaching, it sounds a more direct and hands-on experience. Maybe it doesn’t get at all the roots of children’s potential anxieties and troubles – but as she sees children from the age of six, how complicated are their difficulties likely to be? I was particularly impressed when she told me that she aimed always to send a child home from a session happier than when they came in. Anyone who has had therapy knows that you don’t always feel lighter when you leave. I can’t vouch for my children’s experience of therapy, but I often found it a process akin to stirring up a river with a stick. The water can seem perfectly clear until you start working hard to muck it up.

I probably don’t sound wholehearted about therapy – and I’m not – but I would say to anyone contemplating it that it is definitely, definitely worth doing. I do look at the world in a different way. My children did seem to have had a gentler ride with it than I did – and I know they hugely appreciated a confidential space where they could say anything and everything about their mother without being judged, I hope without guilt and certainly without the least parental come-back  – but, if Iwere getting divorced again (shudder shudder shudder at the thought) then I would definitely try kids’ coaching.  

So thanks to Ingrid for having me on her show, thanks to Naomi for telling me something I didn’t know – and thanks to blogging for making it all happen!

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  • Crystal Jigsaw January 29, 2010 at 9:22 am

    I think therapy has to be good too, every one has something to talk about, something to get off their chest and it’s usually satisfying to do that with someone you don’t know personally.

    CJ xx

    • Dulwich Divorcee January 29, 2010 at 12:18 pm

      That is true, CJ, just not always an easy process – or maybe it’s just that I found it hard! xx

  • suburbia January 29, 2010 at 10:57 am

    My 2 are going through so much right now. I want to help them but don’t know how. Thanks for this post. I am in Bristol, I wonder if there are good childrens life coaches here, and how you find/get to know a good one?

    • Dulwich Divorcee January 29, 2010 at 1:08 pm

      Hi Suburbia, I’d be so glad if my post helped you! You could get in touch with Naomi via the website link, She might know of people in other areas. Or your GP might know of someone? Naomi is also on Twitter on @thekidscoach if you are a twitterer!

      • suburbia January 31, 2010 at 4:15 pm

        Thanks a lot, I will investigate 🙂

        PS. Just read your post about the chattels, I will miss my Dualit toaster, not sure I can ‘sneak’ it out!!!!!

  • rosiero January 29, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    If you can survive divorce AND a radio show interview, you can survive anything. Well done for getting through both! I would have been a nervous wreck, i am sure.

    • Dulwich Divorcee January 29, 2010 at 1:06 pm

      Well, the divorce wasn’t easy …..but the radio show was fun! Felt a bit like being under water with the big earphones on but Ingrid and Naomi were really nice, became like chatting with friends! I was terrified but it just shows you should say yes and go for it – sometimes anyway 🙂

  • Victoria January 29, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    I haven’t had a therapist, but my sister has. She said it was fantastic. She would go to the appointment with the world on her shoulders and come away so much lighter and released of so much stress. She found it such a great way to unload all her troubles onto someone completely neutral and disconnected from the family situation. Sounds like your show went really well and another great contact made to share amongst us bloggers.

    • Dulwich Divorcee January 29, 2010 at 1:09 pm

      Sounds like your sister found a really good therapist. Mine was a nice lady but I can’t say I ever felt lighter afterwards …. yes, it was lovely to be asked on the show and I hope that the coaching idea might help others in a similar situation. Thanks for your good wishes last night, very much appreciated 🙂

  • Rosie Scribble January 29, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    I am fascinated by the idea of kids’ coaching. I hadn’t heard of it before but I notice you have posted a link above so I’ll check it out. Your post has come at just the right time. I’m keen to know what support is available for the children, not necessarily to access right now, but to know what options are there for the future, if needed.

    Everything you say about therapy rings true. I would highly recommend it personally although it can be an incredibly painful and difficult process and yes, at times you come out feeling worse than you did when you went in. I think you get out what you put in, and with the right therapist and the right therapeutic relationship, a light at the end of a very long tunnel can eventually appear.

  • Nicola January 30, 2010 at 8:01 am

    wow – interesting thoughts. My ex and I have seen a child therapist a couple of times to ask for advice on how we handle situation, but as yet the boys haven’t seen a therapist. However the divorce and contentious issue of moving home has just begun so who knows what help we might need to keep our boys balanced? This has served as a very timely reminder. Thanks

  • Single parenting and divorce: kids’ coaching « Organised Chaos February 4, 2010 at 1:38 am

    […] The Dulwich Divorcee has blogged about Naomi Richards who apparently is the UK’s first kids coach.  Apparently she is used to help when kid are coping with their parents’ separation or […]

  • John September 9, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    hey, nice blog…really like it and added to bookmarks. keep up with good work