The Emotional Impact of Divorce
Divorce can be one of the most emotionally challenging times in a person’s life. Yet, parents that are divorcing should also keep in mind that no matter how challenging they believe divorce feels for them, this huge life transition can be even more stressful for the children involved. How negatively children are affected by their parents’ divorce corresponds to how the parents behave with each other. When divorcing, it should be the parents’ paramount concern to put their children’s interests first through effective co-parenting. Successful co-parenting involves preserving a respectful relationship with the other parent and protecting the children from any issues between the parents.
- Prioritize the Children: The foundation of successful co-parenting in divorce is the dedication to prioritize the children’s best interests. Children need consistency, stability, and security. This is especially important during periods of transition. Children are better able to manage the large amounts of upheaval that come with their parents’ divorce when parents work together to create a supportive and loving environment.
- Communicate Respectfully: Another key component of successful co-parenting is respectful communication. Communication between parents should stay respectful, calm, and civil. By choosing to communicate with each other in this way, not only are conflicts prevented, but also, cooperation and peace are modeled for children. Respectful communication leads to children’s emotional and psychological well-being.
- Safeguard Children from Adult Issues: Issues, conflicts, and disputes between parents should never involve the children. Safeguarding children from conflicts that occur between parents is critical. Further, no matter how parents feel about each other, they should never speak negatively about the other parent in their children’s presence or allow third parties to do so. Doing so leads to children feeling confused and emotionally distressed. Successful co-parents should also be a united front for their children. This behavior clearly demonstrates to children that even though their family structure may be changing, both parents’ love and support for them remain the same.
- Maintaining Consistency. During and after the upheaval of divorce, keeping routines can act as a stabilizing influence for children. Co-parents should work together to establish and continue consistent schedules for timesharing, schoolwork, mealtimes, extracurricular activities, and other parts of children’s lives. Maintaining consistency provides a sense of calm, and also confirms for children that both parents are very involved and committed to their well-being.
- Remaining Flexible and Open to Compromise. Although maintaining consistency is important, on the other hand, it is important for parents to remain flexible and open to compromise. Even with an established parenting plan in black and white, parents will soon realize a parenting plan cannot anticipate everything that could potentially occur. A commitment to co-parenting involves the parents working together to solve unexpected issues that consider the children’s best interests and the parents’ needs.
- Setting Positive Examples of Behavior. Co-parenting between divorced parents is an opportunity to set positive examples of behavior for their children. While co-parenting and showing respect, navigating conflicts amicably, parents can teach their children effective communication and conflict resolution – important examples that will only help children in any stage of their lives.
- Positively Affecting Children’s Emotional Well-Being. Successful co-parenting can lessen the negative impacts that occur on children’s emotional well-being. Children feeling safe, stable, and loved are positive aspects resulting from their parents working together despite any differences between them.
The Essentials of Effective Co-Parenting
Effective co-parenting is a vital element for parents to help children handle the challenges they face after they divorce. Through prioritizing the children’s best interests, communicating respectfully with and about each other, and safeguarding the children from conflict between them, parents establish a positive and peaceful environment. Moreover, by being consistent, remaining flexible, and setting positive examples of behavior, parents can ensure their children grow up with an understanding of healthy relationships and conflict resolution. Artemis Family Law Group fully believes that parents, by keeping the peace through co-parenting, can only positively benefit their children’s emotional well-being. If you are committed to finding a way to peacefully co-parent in divorce, call Artemis Family Law Group for a consultation to discuss this and other family law issues.