Divorce and separation can be traumatic for children. It has negative impact on children and can subject them to behaviour and mental vulnerabilities. It increases destructive behaviour and anger, compromises children’s emotional and relational stability and adversely affect their academic performances.
Separation and Divorce: parents can protect their children
Parents can protect their children from destructive effects of separation or divorce. They do this when they stop fighting and work out the issues between them amicably. When they avoid hostility and acrimonious relationships and focus on the best interests of their children.
Separation and divorce can be difficult for parents and impact children adversely. The factors that can influence children’s well-being during these events are within parents control. The quality of parenting provided over time and the quality of parent-child relationship can mitigate or reverse potential serious outcomes for the children.
Managing conflict and effective parenting foster strong parent-child relationship. Achieved over time by not compromising on effective discipline, creating routines, enforcing the rules, monitoring children’s behaviour and genuine manifestation of parent love. All of these will prevent their involvement with deviant peers.
Effective co-parenting relationship
Parents can choose protective factors for the sake of their children such as cooperating to resolve disputes between them during separation or divorce. They can choose to avoid hostility, bitterness, anger and embrace maturity. They can cooperate to raise their children by working together to determine sharing of parenting time and the amount of child maintenance focusing on what is in the best interests of their children. Choosing to do the best for themselves by being involved in the lives of their children.
Letting go of past hurts, focusing on the children. Since children are involved, you will always be parents, you have to learn to communicate with each other. Maintain a business like relationship. Learn not to control your children’s allegiances or use the children to manipulate your ex-husband. Recognize that your children need to have relationships with both parents and that your children’s affection for the other parent is no personal threat to you.
It is in the best interest of the children for both parents to be involved in their lives. This might mean whether to have shared parenting or sole custody where they live with one parent but see the other parent very often and the amount of maintenance. Child maintenance (child support) paid by the non custodial parent (usually fathers) is a source of financial security for the care and support of children. When children feel they have been abandoned by the other parent (usually fathers), it can lead to increased risk for violent behaviour.
Fathers will do well for themselves to be involved and contribute to raising their children. If you cannot resolve the issues between you through your own efforts, it is beneficial to choose the process of mediation over litigation. It will help you avoid adversarial relationships and foster cooperation raising your children.
Mediation is an informal but structured dispute resolution process. A neutral third person, the mediator facilitates communication and assists parties in reaching an amicable dispute settlement. You are directly involved in negotiating your own agreement. No settlement can be imposed on you as it happens in litigation.
The proceedings are conducted in private and you are in control of your own outcomes. Goals of mediation include helping parents make a parenting plan that is in the best interest of their children that let their children spend time with both of their parents. The focus is on the needs of the children.
Alternative to court for deciding custody and visitation arrangements or improving visitation arrangements. It helps decide custody and maintenance arrangements peacefully. If the parents are able to work out an agreement the mediator helps them write their own parenting plan.
Mediation protects children from the potentially damaging effects of separation and divorce in the short and long term. It fosters managing conflict effectively, parenting for warmth and developing strong parent-child relationships.
It gives children the best chance at leading fulfilling lives. They grow through the changes in a way that is benefiting to the children and ultimately, the society they shape as adults. Parents doing what is best for their children.