Divorces involving children can be especially challenging- and draining, for all parties involved. While you may have seen the writing on the walls for some time, a divorce often feels very sudden to the children involved. The sudden breakdown of the family structure after a divorce can be traumatic for children. Children often experience feelings of abandonment, confusion and loss. Parents who remain adversarial with one another may inadvertently compound this trauma for a child.
Cooperative co-parenting can provide children with the structure, support, and certainty that they need- especially during times of uncertainly and flux, such as during or after a divorce. Harriet Peppenheim, LCSW recently outlined some steps that parents can take to help them successfully coparent, and thereby assist children in reorganizing their lives- physically, socially and emotionally.
1. Adopt a professional attitude: Keep communication business-like and to the point.
2. Set up a parenting plan: Create a plan that outlines schedules and division of responsibilities.
3. Consistency: Enforce the same rules regarding homework and chores.
4. Be positive about each-other: Never, ever trash-talk your ex or your ex’s new partner in front of your child.
5. Find a mediator: In the aftermath of divorce, feelings of rancor can be overwhelming. Find a mediator or therapist who can help you establish a successful approach to co-parenting.
If you’d like more information about this article, I encourage you to read Ms. Peppenheim’s full article on Co-parenting.