Tuesday, December 14, 2010
I'm so proud of my little sister. She finally called the lawyer my friend found for her and had a good consultation - but realized that she needed to be more proactive with her own case.
(Note to little sisters everywhere: Big sisters know what we're talking about!)
I also find myself giving her advice from my own professional field: if you're not framing the narrative then tell your story strategically to build will and get people engaged on your behalf.
Yeah, it sounds like PR and it is. MABIL has spent the whole year turning his friends and family against her (while hiding his tendency to treat marriage like a gilded cage) so now's the time to start turning that against him.
I thought she'd resist when I said that it's sometimes useful to strategically share some vulnerability to get people on your side but she got my point. MABIL's family and friends are a lost audience. Never message to an audience that you don't have.
But that still leaves teachers, other parents, old neighbors, and casual mutual acquantances to win over.
She said, "I don't like putting my business out there. It has nothing to do with them."
"True. But since your kid has said out loud that she hates you, and bursts into tears every time you come to pick her up, you really don't need her teacher looking at you like you're the bad guy.
"All you need to say is something like 'Thanks so much for being patient with Sally lately. Her father and I are going through a difficult separation and divorce; the whole thing has been tough on her --on all of us. Thanks for being so understanding.'"
I said. "Just say it in that squinty parent voice people have and the teacher will be on your side -- or at least less likely to look at you like you're Mommy Dearest."
Ah, strategic communications. Good even for divorce.