On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C posted in Divorce on Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Emotions run high during many divorces as each spouse deals with the life-changing event. It can be a confusing time often filled with feelings of anger, hurt or resentment. It is very easy to focus on your own feelings, but sometimes it is harder to notice how the feelings you outwardly display affect your children during the divorce. Children often are just as or more confused than the parents are. The world that they had been accustomed to prior to the divorce can rapidly change, causing tension and anxiety which might have a negative impact on their life and their relationship to each parent.
Some parents deal with the potentially negative impact by using a tool called co-parenting to help make the transition from one dual parent household to two separate households a little bit easier on the children. Children tend to crave stability in order to grow up to be healthy, successful individuals. If two parents can put aside differences that they may have and work together, divorce does not have to be such a stressful experience for their children.
Communication is the first step in successful co-parenting. If two parents can communicate effectively about what has gone on in the home, concerning the children, during that parents turn at taking care of the children. They can communicate what rules they have upheld, what punishments were handed out, what expectations they have set for the children and even what the schedule has been like. By being aware of a cohesive environment, children can feel some consistency and stability between each household.
Another couple useful ideas are writing the children a letter explaining the situation, letting them know that what has happened has nothing to do with the child’s actions and answering some questions they may have had or ones that could arise in the near future. If a child is of the appropriate age, a journal can be a great way for them to safely express feelings they may have about the divorce. It is an important warning to remember that the journal is the child’s own private thoughts and should not ever be used as evidence in a child custody case or the parent’s divorce.
Source: Chicago Tribune “Successful co-parenting” Jenniffer Weigel 10/26/2010