Kyra Sedgwick on Work, Family, and Empty Nests
The actress opens up about her long marriage, life as a working mom, and her new movie, 'The Possession.'
Helping Children Through Divorce
Perhaps no one in the United States knows more about adult children of divorce and how they approach their own relationships than Judith Wallerstein, PhD, a psychologist and former senior lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley. Wallerstein's groundbreaking 25-year study tracked more than 100 children from the time their parents separated (the youngest child was 3 at the time) into young adulthood.
Most of these young people want to make sure they don't make the mistakes their parents made. "They tend to do it carefully, and they want their children to have everything they didn't have," says Wallerstein, who chronicled her findings in The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: A 25-Year Landmark Study. "They say over and over again, 'I don't want my son or my daughter to have the childhood I had.'"
Wallerstein, also the author of What About the Kids? Raising Your Children Before, During, and After Divorce, often advises adult children of divorce how to build healthy relationships of their own.
Don't sweep it under the rug. Talk about the sometimes-forbidden topic of why the divorce happened. "Go back to your parents and ask why. 'Why did you divorce? Looking back, do you think it was a good reason?'" Wallerstein says. "Children of divorce rarely feel they have permission to ask those questions, but this is exactly what they have a right to know."
Take your time. "Often, what I see is that during [young adults'] 20s, they experiment with different relationships and then they're able to make a choice," Wallerstein says. The big problem they have to overcome, she says, is that they don't have a frame of reference for a happy marriage.
"Whatever you can rescue out of your experience would be useful to pass on," Wallerstein advises. "It's a great gift to be able to say to your child, 'There's no connection between my divorce and your relationships. What happened to me doesn't have to happen to you. Divorce isn't in the genes.'"
How Kyra Sedgwick Takes Care of Herself
As hard as Sedgwick works to nurture her marriage and family, she also takes time to care for herself. That's one reason she constantly appears on lists of women celebrities who look much younger than they are. "I spent the whole year last year thinking I was 46, so on my birthday, when I realized I had only been 45 and I'd just turned 46, that was awesome!" she says. How does she do it?
She's fierce about exercise. "It's like a Sedgwick thing. Sedgwicks for centuries have either been exercise addicts, or they kill themselves," she laughs. She's a fan of the ultra-bendy dance-cum-yoga body sculpting workout known as the Bar Method, and she's also discovered a new super-intense interval routine called the Tabata Protocol. "You can do it running or on an exercise bike, and it's very intense. I used to like spinning, but I hurt my knee."