Modern Divorce - The Do-Over For A Better You

Top moves to calm the kids during divorce

August 18, 2022 Attorney Billie Tarascio Season 5 Episode 4
Top moves to calm the kids during divorce
Modern Divorce - The Do-Over For A Better You
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Modern Divorce - The Do-Over For A Better You
Top moves to calm the kids during divorce
Aug 18, 2022 Season 5 Episode 4
Attorney Billie Tarascio

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Let's face it, divorce is traumatizing for adults, and every bit as traumatizing for children. Problem is, there's not much they can do about it, so it's in the hands of the parent to manage the sadness, disappointment and acting out that can sometimes happen during and throughout the process of divorce.

Enter Alexis Santa Cruz, a former elementary school teacher who took her abilities to connect with kids to another level by becoming a licensed marriage and family counselor associate. In this episode of the Modern Divorce Podcast, host Billie Tarascio has an illuminating conversation with Alexis about how to manage the transition of family life. She gives real world examples of things you can do to smooth the road for kids - and for you.

This episode is a breath of fresh air for single parents struggling with kids who are rebelling, depressed, or causing trouble. She uses a number of tools in her practice, which you can find at FreedomPsychCenter.com.

Show Notes Transcript

Send us a Text Message.

Let's face it, divorce is traumatizing for adults, and every bit as traumatizing for children. Problem is, there's not much they can do about it, so it's in the hands of the parent to manage the sadness, disappointment and acting out that can sometimes happen during and throughout the process of divorce.

Enter Alexis Santa Cruz, a former elementary school teacher who took her abilities to connect with kids to another level by becoming a licensed marriage and family counselor associate. In this episode of the Modern Divorce Podcast, host Billie Tarascio has an illuminating conversation with Alexis about how to manage the transition of family life. She gives real world examples of things you can do to smooth the road for kids - and for you.

This episode is a breath of fresh air for single parents struggling with kids who are rebelling, depressed, or causing trouble. She uses a number of tools in her practice, which you can find at FreedomPsychCenter.com.

[00:00:00] Billie Tarascio: Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Modern Divorce podcast. I am excited today because we've got a local guest. It seems like we've had fantastic guests on lately, but they've been all over the world and all over the country. And today we are zooming into a lot more local guest; we've got Alexis, Santa Cruz who's here and she is a licensed marriage and family therapist here. 

[00:00:53] Alexis Santa Cruz: Licensed associate? Yes. 

[00:00:54] Billie Tarascio: Licensed what? 

[00:00:55] Alexis Santa Cruz: Associate? Yes, 

[00:00:57] Billie Tarascio: licensed associate here in Mesa, Arizona. Right on [00:01:00] Dobson near our Mesa office. Alexis. Welcome to the show. 

[00:01:04] Alexis Santa Cruz: Thank you. I'm happy to be here. 

[00:01:06] Billie Tarascio: First. What's a licensed associate? 

[00:01:09] Alexis Santa Cruz: So that means I'm currently working towards my licensure.

So I went through my school's program, got my master's in marriage and family therapy. And then for the next two to three years or so I am working under my supervisor. Um, and I have weekly meetings with them and then am just kind of gaining more experience with my clients. So 

[00:01:30] Billie Tarascio: fantastic. Now you are, this is kind of your second career, right?

[00:01:34] Alexis Santa Cruz: Correct. I was a teacher before. 

[00:01:36] Billie Tarascio: And what age grade age group did you teach? 

[00:01:40] Alexis Santa Cruz: So I started out in second and then moved to fourth grade. So nice little ones. 

Yes. 

[00:01:46] Billie Tarascio: Very nice. And that was in Chandler, right? 

Correct. 

[00:01:49] Alexis Santa Cruz: Yep. 

[00:01:51] Billie Tarascio: So what made you leave teaching and go into psychology? 

[00:01:56] Alexis Santa Cruz: Well, um, kind of a mixture of a few things.

So I [00:02:00] had gone to some trainings about the child's brain and trauma and how that affects their learning. And I loved it. And I was like, this stuff is actually really interesting. And then within the classroom, I would try to put together interventions if they were having. Like behavioral problems. Um, or I just noticed maybe their grades were declining, things like that.

Um, and I just realized, I feel like I'm doing part therapy and teaching math also, and I'd rather just focus in on this area. And I saw a lot of my students that had gone through trauma and the effects of what that did to them. Um, and so I wanted to kind of pivot my career and focus on that area. 

[00:02:39] Billie Tarascio: Okay.

Well, that's a great transition. So. Unfortunately, even the happiest, friendliest Divorce is experienced as a trauma for children. And this is something that I think is just devastating for parents who are going through a Divorce. [00:03:00] So what is it that parents can do? Um, first, all first off, if they're deciding between, should I stay or should I go, I'm hurting my kids either way.

Do you have any insight on that? 

[00:03:13] Alexis Santa Cruz: Yeah, well, of course everyone's situation is completely different. Um, and if there's a lot of fighting going on in the household and the kiddos are seeing that fighting, yeah. Maybe it's time to go or it's healthier for them to see both parents apart. Um, But again, just case by case situation.

And I think, um, parents do have to think about that too. And I also see a lot of parents that maybe they're starting to emotionally separate themselves from their relationship, but the kids don't always see that. And so when the kids hear, oh, a Divorce is happening, it's like their whole world is shake up.

So absolutely it is like they're going through a trauma at that point. 

[00:03:53] Billie Tarascio: Yes. So how can parents help children through that trauma that [00:04:00] change that transition? 

[00:04:02] Alexis Santa Cruz: Yeah, I think that's starting from the beginning. So if you guys have decided, okay, we are going to separate, we are going to get a Divorce. I think it's really important to think.

Okay. How do I want to tell them that? Hopefully it's I know at times it may be out of anger or high emotions that's happening and we tell them really quickly, but if we can slow ourselves down, can we take a step back and think, okay, how do I wanna relay this information? Um, in a way that's helpful to kiddos and that depends on their developmental level.

If it's a teenager, they're gonna understand a little bit more and maybe see a lot more signs that this Divorce is coming. Um, and we can tell them a little bit more specifics of what's going on rather than if it's a young elementary school kiddo. We have to think, okay. They're thinking in black and white.

So what's the simplest way that I can put this. Um, And in a way that they can process that information in little bite size pieces. We don't wanna tell them too much information at first, that's gonna overwhelm them and they're [00:05:00] not going to take in all of that. So, um, I normally tell parents it's good at first, if you're thinking about getting a Divorce to talk with, um, That person that you're separating from of, okay.

Can we come together in a neutral spot? What are we going to say during this conversation? That's short and sweet and to the point, um, and then as questions come up, as the kids wanna ask, we kind of let them be in the driver's seat. And how are we going to respond to those questions? Um, I think that's the starting point and then moving forward.

Um, I think an important question for parents to always have in mind is just what would be the biggest benefit to my child right now, and I notice a lot of parents are, oftentimes their emotions are all over the place. They're going through big changes too. So I think it's super helpful to first think.

Okay. Am I okay? Do I need to go get therapy? Do I need to make sure my emotions are down? So then I can now help my child through this. Um, because if you are kind of freaking out and all over the place and out of your window of tolerance, it's gonna be hard to help them as they're experiencing the same thing.

So [00:06:00] first, what can I do for myself to make sure I'm in a neutral spot? And then how can I support my child through this and make sure whatever I'm doing is benefiting them. 

[00:06:07] Billie Tarascio: Absolutely. And so what if, um, let's say that that's happened that parents have gotten together, they've sat down, they've said we're separating and then all of a sudden your child really starts acting out or transitions seem to be really, really hard on them.

[00:06:23] Alexis Santa Cruz: Mm-hmm 

[00:06:24] Billie Tarascio: what should parents do then? 

[00:06:27] Alexis Santa Cruz: Yeah, there's a multitude of things that they can do. Um, one thing I suggest. Rituals. So even as adults, when we are transitioning from one thing to the other, maybe it's even at work. Okay. We're focusing on this project and now I gotta switch my mindset to this one.

It's hard, it's challenging. And so first empathize with your child and tell them, like, I understand that this transition that you're experiencing must be really hard

[00:06:50] Billie Tarascio: mm-hmm 

[00:06:50] Alexis Santa Cruz: and allow them to talk about that and encourage that conversation. 

[00:06:53] Billie Tarascio: Mm-hmm 

[00:06:54] Alexis Santa Cruz: uh, and then from there, what rituals can I set? So maybe if they go to [00:07:00] dad's for one week and then they're back with me the next, um, maybe when they come back into my house, we have a ritual that we all have pizza that night, and we share our highs and our lows from the last week.

And we watch one of our favorite shows and then do our nighttime routine. Um, but just sticking with a ritual that they can kind of hold onto from one house to the next. Um, another thing is too, if that transition is really hard for them, maybe sending little letter. Or notes with them that they can take to the other parent's house to read those whenever they're having a hard time, if they can read at that age.

and then to just try and make sure as much as you can to show that you have respect for the other parent, because your kids are watching even more than you realize, and listening to conversations even more than you. And if they're starting to hear that there's disrespect on any ends, they're going to start getting confused and it's just gonna hurt the situation even more.

And with those behavioral problems, you might see those rise even more because [00:08:00] now. They're so hyper focused on other things going on. And so their behavior is communication. All behavior is communication, and if they are continuously acting out, I mean, something's going on inside and they're needing to get that out in a healthy way.

And so you telling them that they can do that and you opening up that conversation is going to, um, hopefully bring those behaviors back down to a normal level. 

[00:08:22] Billie Tarascio: Okay, I'm gonna ask you about a situation that happened in my house today was less than ideal. So I have, I have four kids and we share a week on week off.

it works really well during the school year because there's drop offs on Monday at school and then pickups after school, summers are normally fine, but today is a Monday. And my kids got dropped off and that was all fine and dandy. They're all used to that. But then I informed my, my, my number three, that they had that he had math camp.

[00:08:56] Alexis Santa Cruz: oh goodness. 

[00:08:58] Billie Tarascio: At 10:00 AM. And so it's 8:00 AM. [00:09:00] When they get dropped off. And he's thinking he comes in and he's thinking that he's gonna have a chill day with zero expectations. He was saying like, he was not mentally prepared for this. And you know, all kids are different. He goes into oppositional defiant meltdown mode.

I'm not going, you can't may, blah, blah, blah. I've gotta go to work. You know, the mom tension is rising. You want your kid to get their stuff together. I know that his behavior is communicating. I didn't expect this. I don't do well with unexpected. Um, what is 

a parent to do? 

[00:09:33] Alexis Santa Cruz: Yeah, that's a hard situation. Of course, things are gonna come up.

We want to tell our kiddos that, Hey, this is gonna happen next week. Sometimes we forget cuz we're human humans. Um, but I think number one is validate, validate, validate. So if they think you're just telling them. You're going, it doesn't matter. I'm putting you in this car. You'll you need to be there in five minutes.

Um, that's gonna make them kind of wanna push against that and their [00:10:00] walls go up and then they just get more angry, which is raising them out of that window tolerance even more. So instead, first, can we take a step back and say. You know what I really messed up and I'm sorry, I should have told you this beforehand.

I wish I could have. Um, and I understand that this is really hard and you were expecting that this day you're gonna have the chance to relax and now it's kind of switched to something else. And so I get that, that must be really frustrating. Um, And I'm willing to bet that when you start to say that they may have a little shift and, um, kids always want options as someone else is always in control of their life at school, their parents.

And so if we can find two options that they can pick from, that's always helpful too. I say that with, if you have a toddler or a teenager, and so maybe in that case scenario, those two options. okay. Why don't I give you an extra 10 minutes to like cool off and then we can start to head there? Or, um, can we chat [00:11:00] about something in the car?

Grab one of your favorite drinks from Starbucks on the way, which one would you choose? Um, and so they kinda feel like they have a little bit of control in the situation, whereas, cause right now they're feeling outta control. Like someone else sprung this on me. Mm-hmm I don't get any control in it. So now it kind of gives them back that piece.

[00:11:17] Billie Tarascio: Definitely. So I definitely did not set him up for success and I didn't set me up for success. I had to be somewhere else. Um, he probably, you know, my, my ex-husband probably could have told him , but it didn't happen. And so like, you know, if I was, if I was making a better choice, I probably would've set it up a lot earlier and made sure that he knew about it because he's not gonna like it.

You know, this is a child who's not gonna like going to math camp, 

but he, so 

[00:11:47] Alexis Santa Cruz: makes sense. 

[00:11:48] Billie Tarascio: Yeah. So. Um, yeah, I do think that transitions without routines can be really hard. And so when developing your parenting plan, I go back and forth on [00:12:00] this on one hand, the morning drop off makes a ton of sense.

Especially at school on Monday, but on summers, I often think it might be better to exchange Sunday nights because Monday mornings during school could mean a lot of things. It could mean there's a camp. It could mean there's a daycare. Like we don't have enough routine in our summer to really make Monday morning the best exchange time.

So that's really something that parents should think about when they're developing their parenting. How to make those transitions as smooth as possible. 

[00:12:32] Alexis Santa Cruz: Absolutely. And again, it just depends on you and your lifestyle and your kids too. And so sometimes we may need to take a whole summer and we realize, Hey, this is not working.

And so we need to switch it up here. Um, and so it's just good to be aware of those things, for sure. 

[00:12:49] Billie Tarascio: Okay. So when you are helping kids through the big transitions, what are some things that we should be doing? In addition to the things we've talked about today. 

[00:12:59] Alexis Santa Cruz: I [00:13:00] think too, just being really aware of your children and noticing do I see any changes in them?

[00:13:05] Billie Tarascio: Um, 

[00:13:05] Alexis Santa Cruz: and is that behaviorally? Maybe they are acting out a little more. Maybe actually they're more quiet and they're more withdrawn and isolating themselves. That's a big sign too. Mm-hmm . are they complaining about having stomach aches or headaches? Really often now, mm-hmm um, that's often another sign that maybe they're experiencing some trauma at that moment in time.

[00:13:25] Billie Tarascio: Mm-hmm let's talk about 

that withdrawing, because I have a lot of clients who have teens who are withdrawing. They are not wanting to engage in the world. They're not wanting to go out with their friends. They're perfectly happy being in their room. They don't really wanna talk to their parents.

What is a parent to do? 

[00:13:44] Alexis Santa Cruz: Yeah. I would say gather your village and I know it may be a cheesy thing that we all hear, but really you're gonna need a team. Um, because you're right. Maybe they don't wanna talk to their parents and they're a teenager. And so, yeah, that's pretty normal for a teenager, whether [00:14:00] they're experiencing their parents going through a Divorce or not.

[00:14:02] Billie Tarascio: Mm-hmm . 

[00:14:03] Alexis Santa Cruz: And so maybe someone on that team is an aunt or an uncle that they really like. And so you call up that aunt or uncle and you say, Hey, I've been noticing they're isolating. Can you. Maybe take them out for lunch once a month, or can you give 'em a phone call once a week, just to kind of check in on them.

[00:14:20] Billie Tarascio: Mm-hmm 

[00:14:21] Alexis Santa Cruz: and then I would also too, just really encourage them to get out. Do they love sports? Okay. Can we get them into more camps for sports? Do they love cooking? Okay. Can I take them and. To a cooking class and we can go do that together as it's an activity that can help us both. Um, mm-hmm and encourage them to go hang out with their friends.

I know it's hard for some parents to kind of transition from, okay, I'm setting up these play dates and it's kind of in a controlled environment. Now my teen's gonna go off with their friends, but of course, as long as those friends are healthy, I would encourage them to go talk to your friend or can we invite them over so they can come have a [00:15:00] sleepover, do whatever.

[00:15:01] Billie Tarascio: Mm-hmm . Yeah, absolutely. One other thing I've noticed with one of my teens who can be withdrawn is he does really well when I give him responsibility, he does not like me telling him, Hey, you should do blah, blah, blah. You should do blah, blah, blah. Um, but if I give him jobs or I trust him to do things on his own.

then he does. He does a lot better. 

[00:15:29] Alexis Santa Cruz: Absolutely. And I think pointing that out in teens, too, even as adults, we always wanna hear validation. And I think that's even more important because often if they're withdrawing and isolating, they may be ha experiencing some shame. Some guilt. Um, they may have lowered self-confidence I see that a lot associated with isolation.

How can we raise that up? So if he's taken on their responsibilities and he's doing that thing, then Hey, I'm gonna point it out. You're doing so good at this. And while you just took on that job and you did [00:16:00] amazing with it and getting specific with what we're telling our kids. 

[00:16:03] Billie Tarascio: Mm-hmm yeah, they, it, it is so hard every day without having to deal.

the, the trauma. And another thing that you talk about a lot in your practice is loyalty conflicts. Can you talk a little bit about that? 

[00:16:18] Alexis Santa Cruz: Yes, definitely. So loyalty conflicts basically are when a child, especially like in the, um, case scenario of going through a Divorce, they feel like they have to be loyal to either mom or dad mm-hmm and often that's brought on by either one or both parents.

And so, that could look like one parent criticizing the other in front of the child that could look like maybe something that isn't as, um, intentional. So maybe you're on the phone with a friend and you're talking about the court case that you have going on with your ex, but your kids in the car.

Well, they're still hearing that and they're like, oh, what's going on? Where, where does my loyalty stand? Cause [00:17:00] I hear you talking about something with my dad. Or with my mom. and what that starts to do to the kid is make them feel like, okay, I have to choose between one or the other. And then it starts to cause turmoil inside of them.

Um, and even more trauma because they're confused and they get kids are very egocentric. So they get their identities from both parents. They haven't fully developed their identity yet. And so really when we're criticizing or when they're hearing bad things about one parent, they internalize that to maybe think that's me too.

[00:17:31] Billie Tarascio: let's take a step back there. What can you define egocentric? 

[00:17:35] Alexis Santa Cruz: Yes. So egocentric, basically everything kind of goes back to them. And so, um, if let's say, if you're getting a Divorce and you say, oh, we fell out of love, which I, I wouldn't highly recommend saying that to them. Then the kid may think, oh, you fell outta love with them.

You're gonna fall outta love with me. 

[00:17:57] Billie Tarascio: What, why do you not recommend saying that because of what you just [00:18:00] said? 

Yes, absolutely. So that they're gonna come back and think, okay. That this has to do with me, or oftentimes too, that we see with Divorce. Um, if they see their parents separating, they think, oh, this is my fault.

So they always kind of go back to back to them. 

Mm-hmm yes. Uh, my kids told me later on they each went through a. Where they thought it was about them and neither, you know, neither my ex-husband or I ever did anything that would give them that idea. Yeah. But they did go through play therapy, which was super, super helpful.

Mm-hmm and my partners kids. They actually, their school, their kids are in Ohio, but their, their kids have a school that is a curriculum for children going through or who have separated parents. Wow. And one of his kids said, that's where she learned that this wasn't about her and this wasn't her fault.

And so we know all these things, but there's curriculum. [00:19:00] or structure for, for us to know, like, you have to say it, you have to say, this is not your fault and you're going to feel like it is, and it's not. 

[00:19:11] Alexis Santa Cruz: Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:19:13] Billie Tarascio: Where do we find the guidebook to make sure we say everything right? 

[00:19:18] Alexis Santa Cruz: Yes. And I mean, that's the hard part, right?

Is we can't get everything. Right. And I think part of that is owning it and accepting. This is gonna be a little messy. And maybe you tell your kids that too, this is gonna be a little messy and I'm learning as we go. Um, and maybe it's listening to podcasts or finding different books or, um, I would obviously highly suggest too.

Of course I'm a little biased, but go to therapy. 

[00:19:42] Billie Tarascio: Oh yeah. 

[00:19:42] Alexis Santa Cruz: With your whole family, with one of the kids yourself, like I said to make sure you're okay. Mm-hmm to get some of that information. We wanna support our kids in the best way. And we don't know everything in the world, so it's important to get little pieces here and there, but I think number one is to remind them it's [00:20:00] not their fault and reassure that mm-hmm , that is probably the biggest piece.

[00:20:03] Billie Tarascio: Yeah. 

And you might not even, I didn't even think that there would be any reason to bring that up. Yeah, because I didn't even think there was anything in the world that could give them that idea. And that was wrong. That was a wrong assumption. 

[00:20:16] Alexis Santa Cruz: Well, it's hard, right. To put our brains and think, okay, what is my kid actually thinking right now?

But if we do go back to, okay, they are you egocentric. So they're putting something back on them. What are they putting back in them? And kids carry around what we call invisible suitcase. They have beliefs about themselves that are they're carrying on. And so again, that awareness with your kids, are they starting to say little comments that are negative about themselves, or what do they believe about themselves?

And then, um, as you notice those little pieces of what they're saying or doing that may. Allude to something else. Um, it's good to pick up on those and open up that conversation, or maybe like you said, in play therapy, play therapy is amazing because that therapist can see, okay, what patterns are they acting out in their play of what they believe about [00:21:00] themselves or what they're going through right now in their life?

[00:21:02] Billie Tarascio: Yeah. 

Yeah. It was interesting to read the notes and hear about what each of my kids was, processing and how through play therapy. And each of them is their own little, individual self, and they were at different ages. And so my youngest was two and she was playing with dolls and, you know, having the mommy and daddy be at different houses and like reassuring the baby, that things were okay.

And that she knew that she missed her mom, but it was okay. Like she's like literally processing. This two year old is literally processing just through play. And I mean, so people don't understand therapy is not about necessarily sitting your kids down and making them talk about their feelings. And then I think I had an 11 year old who was cheating all the games to make himself win.

and, and he was in control of all the rules and he was telling her what the rules were and, you know, the play [00:22:00] therapists just going with and going, going. And eventually he got to the point where he, he would play fair, but for a while, that's kind of what he needed to do in play therapy. Just fascinating.

[00:22:09] Alexis Santa Cruz: Yeah, it's crazy. What can come out from play therapy? Just noticing that. Okay. Like they are processing and they, they don't process like we do, they, they don't have all the language yet. And so how do they do that? They do that in their place. So that can tell you a. Yeah. 

[00:22:24] Billie Tarascio: And if we know that, then I would hope we can give our kids a little bit more grace with their behavior, because let's say they're cheating at all games.

Like the play therapist knew that this was okay and this was important. And this was part of the process. But I have to imagine if I was playing games was my kid and they were just cheating the whole time. I imagine I'd be frustrated. 

[00:22:47] Alexis Santa Cruz: This is not how you play the game. 

[00:22:48] Billie Tarascio: Right. Right. 

Yeah. I think too, that comes back to your village or your team of who you're letting in.

And so if they're going to school, okay. Maybe we should let the teacher know. And [00:23:00] as a former teacher, we appreciate that because if they're starting to act out at school and your teacher doesn't know, they're like what what's going on. Okay. We get 'em in trouble, like normal, whereas, okay. If I let the teacher in and know, Hey, this is going on at home.

So maybe these are things to look out for and the teacher knows, okay. Maybe that teacher can make some accommodations for your kid to give them a little more grace during the day, or let's say they they're transitioning on Monday morning and it's hard for them. Maybe that teacher gives them 10 minutes to just relax in the classroom.

First thing. And doesn't jump into learning yet. Cause their brain's not ready to do it. And so yeah. Back to knowing your kid and who can, who can we invite in to help? 

Okay. So tell me a little bit about your practice. Do you all offer play therapy? 

[00:23:44] Alexis Santa Cruz: So I do use some play therapy. Um, I've worked with a lot of kiddos that have been through trauma.

and then there's three others. It's a group practice. And so they, we kind of all work with different clientele, which is fun. Mm-hmm a little bit of everything. So [00:24:00] the owner, she started out as a private practice and then recently just expanded into a group practice. So we're fairly new as a team over here..

[00:24:08] Billie Tarascio: Fantastic. okay. I have one other question for you. Yes. Uh, this comes up a lot where usually mom or wife is ready to leave. And she files for Divorce Divorce, or is said to her husband, I'm gonna file Divorce. And he says, let's go to therapy. Now she has zero intention of reconciling she's been through, you know, at this point she's already mourned loss of her marriage and she's moved on in her brain to creating her new life.

I as a Divorce lawyer, often tell people, still go to therapy, go to therapy because you need the help of somebody to help you transition and work out the details of the restructuring of your family. I have to imagine marriage therapists might not appreciate that advice so much. So tell me how you feel about that.

[00:24:57] Alexis Santa Cruz: No, actually it's the [00:25:00] opposite. And so, um, even as a marriage and family therapist, my goal is to never keep you guys together as much as. My goal is to take in what do you both want? And then how can I help you with that? So if you're wanting to separate my goal, isn't to convince you to get back together, you have your autonomous independent self, and you can make up your mind.

And I want you to, um, make those decisions that you need to make for yourself. And so. If it's separating totally fine. Like you said, now we're gonna talk about, okay, what is that gonna look like for the kids? How do I heal myself? What are our new roles gonna be? Because that's gonna be a whole nother ball game of, okay.

Everyone's roles are switching. 

[00:25:40] Billie Tarascio: that is hard. If husband's saying you're supposed to helping, you're supposed to be helping us get back together. Mm-hmm and wife's saying maybe someday wink, wink. what do you do then? 

[00:25:54] Alexis Santa Cruz: Well, I think, um, those expectations definitely need to be clear at the beginning of therapy.

And any [00:26:00] therapist will tell you that too. So normally they'll sit you down, get some background information and say, what are your goals that you wanna get outta therapy? And if one person's goals is okay, I wanna get back together. And the other person is like, no, we're figuring out how to walk through a transition.

Okay. Hopefully that therapist will guide them and be like, okay, we're on two separate pages here. So how do we reconcile this? How do we figure out what we actually want to get outta therapy? Um, by, with respecting both people and keeping in mind the kids too. 

[00:26:29] Billie Tarascio: Okay. I love it. Thank you so much for answering that question.

I always feel a little sneaky when I tell my clients, you should just still go to therapy. Yes, a really good idea to have, but you know what I find, I find parents who go to therapy, get better agreements for their kids and have a better likelihood of settling their Divorce Divorce and have a more amicable divorce.

[00:26:50] Alexis Santa Cruz: Yeah. 

[00:26:51] Billie Tarascio: So I think if you are on the fence, if you are out there, if, if somebody asks you to go to therapy, to work on things, go, you will have things to work on. Even if they're not [00:27:00] exactly what he or she may have had in mind, you will have things that you can work on together. 

[00:27:04] Alexis Santa Cruz: Absolutely. And I've heard someone say before, maybe you were married for like four years, but you're about to be co-parenting for the rest of your lives.

[00:27:12] Billie Tarascio: Right. 

[00:27:12] Alexis Santa Cruz: And so how do we make that transition to learn how to co-parent together? Um, because that's gonna. um, a big thing to get started in therapy can help with that tremendously. 

[00:27:23] Billie Tarascio: Absolutely. Well, Alexis, thank you so much for being on the show. I have really, really enjoyed it. And if you are listeners have enjoyed the show, please download it like it, share it.

Leave a review. If you would like to be a guest on the Modern Divorce podcast, please reach out and let us know. Or if there's topics that you want us to cover, let us know Alexis. How can people find you? 

[00:27:47] Alexis Santa Cruz: So, they can find me at freedompsychcenter.com and I can give you, um, that as well. So I'm online, like I said, over located in Mesa, Arizona .

[00:27:57] Billie Tarascio: fantastic. We will make sure to get your contact [00:28:00] information on the show notes. Thank you so much for coming on the show. Have 

a great day. Thank you.