Divorce & Family Adjustment
Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies ~ Nelson Mandela
During A Difficult Time
Divorce in a family can mark an incredibly difficult and uncertain time for both parents and their children. However, this transition in a family's structure can also be an opportunity for renewed hope and deepening of the parent-child relationship. For children, parents represent the cornerstone for love and security in their lives. This is why central to a child's ability cope with and adjust to the changes surrounding divorce is having parents invested in learning how to best support their child's needs during this difficult time. While all parents want what is best for their children, they may not know how best to proceed.
Thankfully, with a little guidance parents can learn how to better communicate with their child(ren) about divorce, plan for transitions that reflect your child's developmental needs, and begin to establish healthy, child-centered co-parenting practices. While the process of divorce often drives feelings of loss, it is also presents an opportunity to deepen relationships with one's children.
Planning for Healthy, Long-Term Adjustment
At the heart of my work is to help parents develop a safe and secure environment for children as they construct and adjust to a two-home family. I provide parents compassionate and informative guidance on ways to help their children adjust and even thrive in a 2-home family. As part of this, we review how to communicate with your child in a way that supports resiliency, maintains healthy social and academic functioning and strengthens the parent-child relationship. Additionally, we will review how to develop and maintain respectful co-parenting practices while taking care of your own emotions and personal boundaries.
While it is typically in the child's best interest that both parents participate, that simply may not be an option given the current circumstances. However, even one parent learning how to better support his/her child's during this difficult time can make an incredibly positive difference for both you and your child.
How You Parent During Divorce Matters
Children rarely respond with a deeper answer than "fine"when adults initiate conversations in passing. This can be especially true for children experiencing divorce as they worry about adding to parental burdens.
80% of children "did not express anything" to parents regarding divorce. Children often cite feeling like there was no space given for thoughts, feelings or opinions.
51% of parents felt they were responsive to their child's needs during divorce.
72% of children felt parents were not responsive to their needs during divorce.
67% of children who underwent therapy during parental divorce said it was "unhelpful" and "a waste of time."
The quality of cooperative parenting is the single most important factor for child adjustment during and following divorce.
"Do the best you can until you know better. Once you know better, do better. ~ Maya Angelou