Parents need help sometimes. Few children can accept their
parents' divorce ...
we coach parents to solve emotional and relationship problems
for themselves and their children. Divorce need not require
that the children also divorce a parent.
Co-parenting usually describes a
parenting situation where the parents
are not married nor in
an intimate relationship with one another.
Co-parenting may also describe
individuals who want to parent children,
who do not wish a
We believe that children benefit enormously
from stable relationships
with both parents, even if the parents are separated or divorced,
unless there is a danger to the children.
Most mature parents want to be actively involved in their childrenís
lives. Responsible co-parenting can provide long term
healthy relationships and support healthy children becoming mature adults.
Following separation, divorce or adoption, some children feel
forgotten or like second class people. The parents can honor and express love
to their children and increase their sense of security. If one parent
ignores the children, or uses them as bargaining chips
(see Parental Alienation),
they may burden themselves and their children with emotional problems.
Divorce and Children
Co-parenting usually refers to parents who work
cooperatively to help their children smoothly adjust to living in two
different households. Separated and divorced couples can work together
to maintain friendly relationships and create parenting plans.
Co-parenting often means sharing parenting responsibilities
with an ex-spouse living in a separate home. Co-parenting is a conscious
decision by both parents to support the childrenís sense of security and to work
out an friendly relationship ... for the sake of their children. Co-parenting
plans, often worked out during divorce, should be clear, practical and
considerate of both households.
Some parents have favorite or special children.
A father may favor the youngest daughter
Princess), while a mother may favor the eldest son
During a marital separation or divorce, we find that favored children
may react more than other children - perhaps convinced that they
somehow initiated or caused their parent's separation.
After divorce or adoption, parents can show their children
that they are still loved, secure and safe with a co-parenting plan. Consistent
routines and rules shows children that they are important and that both parents
will continue to be present.
Co-parenting plans are useful for both parents and children.
Many experts seem to agree that children adjust better to disappointments when
both parents remain active in their lives and when both parents avoid involving
the children in their own feelings.
Effective co-parenting plans can include:
- Medical needs
- Household rules
- Holidays / special events
- Decision making guidelines
What can Parents Do?
Partners can first clarify their own emotions about partnership
- especially anger, sadness, fear and conflict. If they do not,
children may try to carry the parent's hidden emotions into
their own lives. There are many potentially toxic situations:
- If a parent acts resourceless, children may try to
grow up too quickly
- If a parent acts like a victim, children may
respond with chronic anger
- If a parent acts like a failure, children
may respond with chronic anxiety
- If a parent is dead or absent, children
may respond with chronic sadness
- If parents force children to take sides,
children may respond with chronic conflict
Parents can encourage their children to communicate
with both parents - regardless of circumstances. Otherwise children
can develop emotional scars that they may carry for years. Hurt,
disappointed children may fight against their parents' separation,
attempt to sabotage their parents' new partnerships, or may strive to
leave their parents' homes.
"If you support your spouse in
front of your child, show that you are a united front, it can help prevent
some behavior problems in children who may be at risk."
Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan, Ohio State University
Avoid asking children - even teenagers - for advice
about your partnership, about money, custody or court issues. Reassure
younger children that your decisions are for their best interest. Ask older
children for their thoughts and feelings about decisions - and tell them
that although final decisions are made by their parents, their opinions
Discuss how your children can have maximum benefit and happiness
when they are with the other parent. (Some children complain that they
have already been to the zoo enough times!) Avoid asking children
to spy on or to obtain information from an ex-partner.
Parents and co-parents can also:
- Respect their ex-partners
- Not use children as messengers
- Discuss and resolve conflicts privately
- Assure children that you will both listen to them
- Avoid complaining about your ex - especially to your
Learning Disabilities .
. Parental Alienation
Separation, Divorce & Co-Parent Coaching
Unresolved emotions sabotage parental roles and responsibilities.
If you and your ex canít work out your difficulties, think about
getting help, for your benefit as much for your children. Take care
not to damage your children nor burden them with your problems!
We usually suggest that both parents have individual coaching
to manage individual emotional problems, and then sessions together,
to manage partnership issues. We do not take sides - we coach both partners
to understand, appreciate and accept each other's perspectives,
motivations and goals and to make informed, mature decisions.
Contact us if you want help to separate peacefully ...
to co-parent or to merge
Online Couple Coaching, Counseling & Soulwork Therapy
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