Divorce and Cooperative Parenting


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Parental divorce wreaks havoc on the psychological stability of children. Children from divorced families have more emotional and behavioural and less psychological well-being in their adult years than adults from intact families.

Long-term effects of divorce on children include behavioral and social problems, trouble with relationships, prone to substance abuse, depression, poor education and socio-economic position. Divorce could lead to a traumatic experience for children to perpetrate crime and violence from adolescence into adulthood. Parents should seek help to support their children cope with the upset of a divorce.

The effects of separation or divorce on children and young people can be destructive. According to an African adage, ‘when two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers’. Meaning, when the large fight, it is the small who suffer or the weak get hurt in conflicts between the powerful. When parents argue or fight, it is the children that suffer most.

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Economic hardships, emotional problems and psychological distress are associated with the break-up of families. This often leads to financially disabled, depressed and homeless mothers raising children alone.

The consequences in the lives of children and adolescents include homelessness, poverty, lack of education, behavioural and psychological problems, impulsive behaviour, increased peer conflicts and aggressive behaviours. These negative effects are avoidable.

It is not estrangement or divorce in itself that inflicts psychological damage on children it is how it is handled. Parents can continue to love their children. They can continue to be actively involved in the lives of the children and can cooperate to promote their health, safety and well-being during separation.

Co-parenting after separation or divorce when two parents work together to raise a child even though they are separated or divorced and no longer live together. It is associated with happier, healthier children.

Protecting Children from the Effects of Divorce

Positive Parenting : Raising Happy Children

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‘Children learn more from what you are than what you teach’. W.E.B. DuBois

A parent has the responsibility for good upbringing of his or her child. Your parenting style to a large extent influences the future of your child, shapes his or her behavior, impacts his her development, determines how well prepared the child is to realize his or her full potential and becomes the person or adult he or she is meant to be.

Communicate effectively
Learn to communicate openly and listen well to your child. Do not presume anything let him or her feel heard and understood by you. Make use of positive and effective communication in your interactions with your spouse and others this will help your child imbibe good social skills and relate better with you and others.

Let your child talk about how his or her day went. Help your child express himself or herself and take time to listen. Model positive communication. This will help you raise a problem solver and not a confrontational child.

Meet needs
Meet the specific needs of your child these include physical needs and emotional needs for love and care. When you fail to provide these basic needs you are neglecting him or her. Love your child unconditionally but you do not have to say ‘yes’ to everything your child demands sometimes you cannot afford it and sometimes you should not. Explain to the child when you cannot.

Provide structure

Create a family routine and household structure. Help your child learn to be useful to himself and others. Cook meals. Teach your children to do household chores early and create fun doing this. Model good values to your child.


Connect with each child
Love each child unconditionally. Understand each child as a unique individual. Communicate, listen to, notice your child. Help him her develop his her unique talents and gifts.

Give each child attention even if it is for a few minutes a day. Let your children know through your actions that everyone of them is important to you and you would need to check on each one of them. This will stem sibling rivalry. This will help them love one another. Let them know how lucky they are to have one another.

Be there for your child

Be there for your child. Be your child’s friend and parent as well. Show interest and participate in activities that are meaningful to him or her. Get to know your child’s friends. Honour school invitations, know the teachers. Be his her number one fan.

Have dinner together. Use it to catch up on the day’s happenings. Make it positive and happy. Allow your child express himself herself, his her feelings and needs. Children these days are facing tremendous challenges due to advancement in technology, social media and all, they are bombarded with all sorts of negative media. Guide your child, build his her self-esteem through communicating your love to him or her.

Play together. Do not be neglectful show positive physical contact, touch, hug, smile and play with your child. Express your affection to your child. Know where your child is and who he or she is with at all times.

Discipline positively
Discipline firmly. Let your child know what is expected of him or her. What will not be tolerated and what will be appreciated.

Set boundaries or limits with positive or negative consequences. Be consistent about this to get it established.

Communicate clear expectations of how to behave concerning the use of language, honesty, attendance at school, drinking, smoking, sexual conduct, sharing in household chores, participation in after-school activities, etc.

When a complaint is made concerning your child listen to his her side before responding. When your child makes a wrong choice disapprove of the misbehavior and help your child handle such situation differently next time.

Do not exert power over your child, use your parental authority. Know when to give your child choices, how to support him or her in making decisions and behaving appropriately. Provide guidance but respect your child’s feelings and choices.

As you discipline and set boundaries affirm your child, appreciate his or her uniqueness and peculiarities and fulfil your responsibilities to your child.

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Never lose control.
Do not yell. Do not rebuke him or her sharply, criticize or put him or her  down. Listen to his or her explanations before disciplining him or her.

Do not take your problems out on your child. Keep your anger from erupting into violent acts and hurtful words. Do not beat your child or any child in anger. Do not beat him or her in public.

Encourage your child to talk to you about everything. Let him know he can talk to you about anything that you will listen attentively, calmly, counsel, rebuke with love and understanding, guide and direct.

Never fight before your child. Do not argue or fight with your spouse in the presence of your children. If you do, settle it quickly and make up. Let your children learn that conflict is inevitable but how you manage it is crucial. 

Managing conflicts

When your child exhibits challenging behaviors or when he has made wrong choices, evaluate the impact of your parenting style in the life of your child.

Look beyond the rebellious behavior to the causes behind it. Ascertain to what extent you are responsible for what is happening as well as other influences at work.

Communicate with your child. Ask questions to make him express his feelings, needs and concerns. Pay attention to your own attitudes, habits and approach to parenting in terms of discipline, love, guidance and meeting the unique needs of the child. Offer sincere apology and seek forgiveness for genuine shortcomings.

Do not apportion blame but decide on what should be done from now on in your relationship with your child. Do not try to make up for past mistakes by becoming overly permissive but set out in a new direction with your child.

When faced with a difficult or stressful relationship with your child you can seek for help from a counsellor or child psychologist.

Help your child know God

Raise your children God’s way. Help them build a relationship with God. Inspire them to love God’s Word. Be a praying parent. Pray for your children. The measure of a good parent is praying for your child to be greater than you.



The Importance of Preventive Law to the Growth of Mediation

We are in the information era marked by influx of ideas, data flexibility and improved efficiency. This information age has to a large extent contributed to global decline in career and employability.

Even though this has affected the fortunes of many professions, it is believed that Medicine and Public Healthcare and information technology continue to thrive. Medical healthcare exhibits peculiarities which include essential services, ethic of care, information technology and prevention.

Definition of Preventive Law by US Legal

Preventive law seeks to anticipate and prevent legal problems and litigation in a broad scope of areas such as… Lawyers who practice preventive law may offer services in mediation and alternative dispute resolution, government affairs, legal research …

Preventive law attorneys may evaluate legal implications of business contracts and attend meetings with representatives from business, government or private individuals as an advocate or mediator.

The lawyer will often conduct a legal audit, produce a legal status report, which provides the status of the legal affairs of the business or person, presents legal risks, and make recommendation for action.

The report may include identification and analysis of regulations and laws, intellectual property rights, environmental banking and financial services employment practices, tax securities laws…… the company will be protected in such a way to minimize the risk of litigation and to ensure that if litigation occurs, the business will have acted properly…

Preventive Law and Healthcare

Preventive Law shares some similarities with medical science. It seeks to encourage how legal services can be delivered to prevent legal problems and protect legal health. It seeks to promote and protect the legal health of private and business entities.

This field of law consists of legal and practical principles that anticipate and avoid legal problems. The goal of preventive law is to provide for the legal health of individuals and businesses. This practice applies to medical science as most successes in medical treatment are preventative.

Preventive Law and ADR/Mediation

Preventive law seeks to anticipate and prevent legal problems and litigation. Considering this definition, preventive law also shares some commonalities with the concept of alternative dispute resolution which is the use of methods such as mediation or arbitration to resolve a dispute without resort to litigation.

Conflict prevention and preventive law techniques could therefore include routine procedures for individuals such as legal check up to help them keep legally healthy. For businesses and organizations, periodic legal status reports to know their legal condition much like financial reports for the financial condition of a business.


Every sector seems very much in need of proactive and early conflict prevention to promote their legal health care through the application of ADR/mediation skills.

There is the need to develop and promote the field of preventive mediation with ethic of care harnessing information technologies. The definition by US Legal is instructive and seems to depict wide latitude and great opportunities for Mediation.





The Conflict Management Toolkit for Families (2)

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1.Commit to God’s plan that leads to a oneness marriage.

2. Build on a union driven by the man and obey divine order as regards headship of the man.

3. Good communication is important built on respect and openness.

4. Take each other’s feelings into account before doing anything.

5. Express feelings, concerns and expectations calmly.

6. Make your spouse your priority.

7. Unite to solve your problems with respect.  Don’t assume the worst. There are many possible reasons for his or her behaviour. Be honest, open come up with solutions together. Promote a common ground. View

8. Encourage dialogue. Allow him complete his sentence before replying. Stay on the subject. Take responsibility for your own responses.

9.Accept responsibility for your own role in the disagreement. Initiate contact.

10. Be willing to forgive.

11. Be trustworthy. Trust each other. Avoid suspicion.

12. Help him become the leader of your family.

13. Be a good listener.

14. Understand, know each other.

15. Respect, encourage, admire, accept him.

16. Appreciate him for taking the lead. Appreciate his initiatives.

17. Be her best friend.

18. Give her attention, love and care. Tell her you love her.

19. Offer your advice and help if he asks for it.

20. He has a good sense of humour.

21. Turn your fights into good ones.

22.Figure out the real problem, concerns, needs.

23. Support him in providing for the family. Discuss. Let there be openness. Let there be agreement.

24. Shun ego, assumption, defensiveness, impatience.

25. In making decisions make use of her opinions, insights and suggestions.

26. Meet his emotional needs.

27. Understand the other person’s point of view.

28. Be hard working with direction.

29. Encourage your partner’s dreams and goals.

30. Be happy with each other’s successes and achievements. Be there for each other when things go right.

31. Give unconditional love to your wife. Appreciate those things she does.

32. Love your mother-in-law. Make her love you.

33. Get along with the family.

34. Share his interests.

35. Let go of wanting to be right. A third position may exist.

36. Honour your parents.

37. Take your children on visits to their grandparents. Help them stay connected with their grandparents.

38. Be aware and respectful of each other’s differences. Manage these differences.

39. Look good for him.

40. Keep each other informed of happenings at end of each day. Do not condemn or judgmental. Support each other get over difficult situations.

41. Make financial decisions together. Ensure financial intimacy. Be financially responsible.

42. Don’t think it is greener on the other side.

43. Stay positive. View your spouse in a positive light.

44. Admit when wrong and apologize. Do not take it personally.

45. Protect your partner. Portray your spouse in good light to your family.

46. Watch how your attitude and actions impact on your spouse. Figure out what the other person is feeling.

47. Spend more time together.

48. Organize, take care of your home.

49. Treat your spouse better than you treat anyone else.

50. Paint the big picture.

51. Ensure physical intimacy.

52. Many people have worse problems but prefer to  work it out.

53. Not who is right but what is right.

54. Change yourself to change your spouse.

55. Don’t cheat on her. Be faithful.


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With the Children

The father, his children’s hero.

Model good behaviour for your children. Teach your children morals and right values.

Teach them by example. Provide good example for your children and every member of your household.

Raise your children to know God.

The mother, there for every member of her household.

A mother, helping her family do what is right,

kind, insightful, observant, watchful

A praying wife and mother.


Antidote for Divorce is to Nip it in the Bud

Pheasant v Pheasant [1972] 1 All ER 587

The fact of this case may seem ridiculous!   The petitioner husband alleged that the wife had not given him the spontaneous demonstrative affection which his nature demanded and for which he craved. He claimed it caused the marriage to breakdown irretrievably.

This case emphasizes the fact that an issue no matter how trivial can grow to become exceedingly big to threaten a marriage. No matter how minor, mundane or frivolous an issue may seem to an outsider, it means so much to those concerned. It must not be left unattended or mismanaged or would become an albatross capable of jeopardizing the relationship.

In this instance, the husband went the way of divorce.  Another person in a similar situation may have opted for extramarital affairs to satisfy his emotional needs which he missed at home. He would justify his actions that his wife pushed him into it. That she should accept responsibility for her role in causing the problem.

One wonders if the man tried to communicate his needs to her. Maybe he did but she did not listen well enough to understand his feelings and concerns or took it lightly and when he started fuming she thought he was being impossible.  Why didn’t they engage in a discussion to resolve the issue and reconcile? Did they try but it failed to resolve their differences?

It may be that the wife did not understand or know how to meet this need as one of the love languages of her husband. Many marriages have failed because of a partner’s inability to identify the needs of his or her spouse and learn to meet them.

It is important to consider if they have their private time that they spend together to catch up on their relationship and also to discuss their issues. If they believe a problem is serious and beyond discussion they could initiate communication through writing, a note and follow up with discussion.

No problem should be too big for couples to discuss and resolve but this needs cooperation of both parties. They should be willing to work together at the challenges to help the marriage and make it work.

There is another alternative instead of going to court for the purpose of dissolving the marriage. They should have explored counselling with the help of their pastor or marriage counsellor.

Even though hostility had built up over time making it emotionally charged and difficult for them to sit together to settle the matter, it is still not hopeless. They can go for mediation. They can seek the help of an independent third party mediator to help them work together to resolve the issue. This would have helped unearth the underlying cause that got lost in battle. It would have facilitated communication and expression of the need the way the wife would have understood.

There are different ways to save a marriage together.  The minor issue in this case festered and almost succeeded in permanently tearing the couple apart. This should not have happened if at the early stage the problem was nipped in the bud through communication, good listening, respect and understanding. They would have negotiated their differences through dialogue and resolved.

What came up for determination by the court was whether there was a breach of obligation between both parties. The court held that there was nothing in the wife’s behavior which could be regarded as a breach on her part of any of the obligations of the marriage. This decision is a big relief because it could have gone the other way!

It is instructive through this case that no issue should be perceived as unimportant in marriage. Every misunderstanding requires attention. Inside every problem is a seed that has the potential of growing to harm and destroy a relationship.

Having gone through all this they have to contend with the problem of reconnecting. The wife would need to roll out truckloads of spontaneous affection and this has to be sustained along with meeting his other needs. The husband on his part for taking her to court in addition to meeting her emotional needs has to go all out to do those things that will make her really happy.

They can achieve much if they can restore the love they both enjoyed at the beginning of their marriage. They should add to this their fantasies spiced with forgiveness.