Month: April 2017

Children’s Issues

Children are always affected by their parents’ decision to divorce.  The question is, how?  Depending on a myriad of factors, including a child’s age, stage and temperament, and the amount of conflict and tension in the parents’ relationship, a child’s reaction can range from devastation to relief.  Here is a sampling of what I have heard from kids when asked how hard it was to learn that parents were getting unmarried:

“I was so, so, so sad.  I cried a long time and so did my brother.”
“It felt like a really bad dream to hear the words.”
“I wasn’t surprised.  I’ve seen this coming for a long time.”
“To tell you the truth, it was a relief.  Our house is so much more peaceful now.”
“At first I couldn’t believe it, but I’m getting used to it.  I just want everyone to be
happy.”

Children ARE resilient, but they can’t do it in a vacuum.  They need adults to remain attuned to their needs in order to have a healthy recovery from a life crisis.  It is so important to keep the crisis of divorce from becoming a trauma for a child

Experience, research and common sense tell us that the most negative impacts on a child’s resilience after a divorce are ongoing, unresolved high conflict between parents, and feeling abandoned if a parent moves away or significantly reduces his or her involvement in the child’s life.  These painful outcomes are preventable, when separating and divorcing parents recognize their children’s needs and make a commitment to respectful and effective co-parenting.  Our Family Forward can help!

How to Prepare for a Child-Centered Divorce

We often get asked by divorcing parents, “How will our divorce affect our kids?”  This is such a powerful question.  Our Family Forward is based on the belief that how parents choose to move forward during and after their divorce will profoundly shape the outcome for themselves and their children.  We encourage parents right away to focus on the future they want with and for their children.

We know that divorce is a major stressor for everyone involved as a family restructures to living in two households instead of one.  It is a time of crisis for all family members, as changes are made and losses are felt, but it does not have to become a lasting trauma for children.

When we meet with divorcing parents we ask, “Down the road, what is the story you want your children to tell about your divorce?”  You have control over many aspects of this story.  Behaving with courtesy and respect toward each other during and after your divorce will have a lasting, positive impact on your children.   This becomes the cornerstone of effective co-parenting.

Children do best during and after a divorce when they are never asked to take sides between their parents, when parents can work as a team on their children’s behalf and when children are not exposed to parental conflict.  We believe children should be kept at the center and out of the middle.

But this is hard work, so it’s important to take care of your own emotional needs.  It’s only human to feel the urge to lash out at your spouse or partner during a divorce, especially if you feel hurt or betrayed by the many losses you now must experience.  If this happens in the presence of your children, it will hurt them.  We encourage you as soon as possible to get the emotional support you need and deserve from other trusted adults who honor and respect your wish to protect and nurture your children during the divorce.  This will help provide you with resources and strength to stay as centered as possible while grieving and working through the strong feelings that arise during a divorce.  The added benefit is creating safety for your children.

The Power of Pausing: A Simple Tool for Better Outcomes in Challenging Conversations

Have you ever found yourself embroiled in an argument with your co-parent about an emotionally-charged issue and wondered …

co parenting

We were such good co-parents, once.

It goes something like this.  You’ve done the hard work of getting unmarried with as much dignity and courage as possible. …

Children’s Issues

Children are always affected by their parents’ decision to divorce.  The question is, how?  Depending on a myriad …