Divorce can be traumatic for children. It has a negative impact on children and can subject them to behaviour and mental vulnerabilities. This event increases destructive behaviour and anger, compromises children’s emotional and relational stability and adversely affect their academic performances.
Divorce and Separation: 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 influence the well-being of children 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. In addition to parents 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 children’s involvement with deviant peers.
Effective co-parenting relationship
Parents can choose to Imbibe protective factors for the sake of their children such as cooperating to resolve disputes between them. They can choose to shun hostility, bitterness, ego, anger and cooperate to raise their children.
Placing emphasis on how to support and care for their children. Focusing on what is in the best interests of their children, doing the best for themselves by being involved in the lives of their children.
Since children are involved and you will always be parents, you have to learn to communicate with the other parent. You can achieve this by maintaining a business like relationship. Do not control your children’s allegiances or use them to manipulate your ex-spouse.
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 agreeing on a custody arrangement with a focus on what is best for your child or children. Whether to adopt shared parenting or sole custody whereby your children live with one parent but see the other parent very often, deciding the amount and consistent payments of child support (or child maintenance) by the non custodial parent or non resident parent (usually fathers) for the care and support of the children. Putting the children first always.
A child should never feel he has been abandoned because 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 in the lives of their children and contribute to raising them.
If you are having difficulties relating with the other parent or finding it hard to resolve issues between you, try the process of mediation. It is beneficial to choose this approach over litigation which is adversarial and foster cooperation in raising your children.
Mediation can help pave the way for successful co-parenting. It helps parents focus on the needs and best interests of their children. Protecting children from the negative effects of separation which can lead to the introduction of destructive behaviour and increase in health problems.
Co-parenting is not about the parent’s feelings, emotions, anger or those of their ex but rather about the children’s happiness, stability and future well-being.
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 child support 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.