At Amicable Families, we believe that children can thrive in any type of family. Eva’s family is a testament to that possibility. Here is her story so far.
I am part of a large blended family that is a source of joy and meaning. Before having my daughter, I did not really understand how vulnerable children can be and the extent of the responsibility adults have towards the well-being of every child they come across. I mean responsibility in small acts – in how we treat children, in how we make them feel, in what we share or don’t share, and in how we treat other adults. And in that responsibility also lies the impossibility of getting it right all the time, every time.
When I first met my stepchildren, it was very awkward for everyone. My ex-husband made it easy by behaving normally like it was not a big deal. He made me feel I belonged in that family and in doing so, allowed me to take the risk of getting involved. And that risk, in my case, was to relax and play with these kids that had just entered my life. It helps that I can laugh at myself. I think that is how it happened, or at least that is how I remember it. I also have great memories of playing monsters with my then 4-year-old stepdaughter on the huge corner couch, while my daughter was sleeping and my step-daughter was in my care because her parents were at work. Then we all moved to Spain, where I had much more responsibility because I was the only one speaking the language and I had to make that experience a successful and rich one for the children. Naturally, that made them come to me for local things more than they would have done otherwise, school, organising things with friends, etc. It was not easy I suppose, but whatever we did, worked.
And 10 years on, after separation, after two of the children have become adults, after moving to Australia so that my daughter could be closer to her dad and her siblings, I don’t have a single regret. I still think of the kids as ‘my’ kids and remain involved in their lives as much as I can, and is appropriate. What is testament to what my ex, the kids mums, and I have achieved is that my daughter still draws her family as a family of six. She has two brothers and a sister (‘half’, but that is not how she refers to them). And I could never take that away from her.
Many parents struggle to co-parent after a separation or divorce. From small nagging disagreements to never-ending conflict, takes a toll on them and most importantly, their children. I believe that children can thrive in any type of family if the adults in the family invest in learning the skills to co-parent well.
I work with clients to:
- define what is important to you and what is getting in the way and affecting their wellbeing and that of your children
- look at your past behaviours, what you need to let go of and where you need to develop a skill towards greater effectiveness as co-parents
- map a series of actions to get you to progress towards the relationship you want to have with your children (and with each other)
- function as your accountability partner to assist in staying the course.
I have a large network and a great team, if I am not the best person to serve you, I will refer you to someone in my team who will be able to solve your problem.
- Integrity – do what you say you will do
- Authenticity – bring your whole self to whatever you engage in
- Generosity – give before you can receive
- Learning through action – don’t just think it, do it and see what happens
- ICF-accredited ontological coach
- Gallup-certified Strengths Coach
- Practitioner, Foundations of Great Coaching, WBECS ACE (Accelerating Coach Excellence)
- Parent Coordinator, Parenting Coordination Australia
- Ontological Coach, EEC
- MSc in High Performance Leadership, EADA Business School
- MSc in Economics and Philosophy, London School of Economics