Explore BrainMass

Positive Parenting Through Divorce

1. How do we tell our kids that we are getting divorced?
2. What is co-parenting and how do we do it once we are divorced?
3. How would I keep a stable environment for my kids and myself through the divorce process?
4. What does a stable home environment look like? Can you give me a list?
5. How do I deal with a difficult parent?
6. What is a parenting plan and how is it used?
7. What is successful co-parenting?

Provide detailed response of how you would answer these questions for the parent. Thank you.

Solution Preview

Positive Parenting Through Divorce (2004) (excerpt)

1. How do we tell our kids that we are getting divorced?

One way to help children through this early stage is (according to age) to openly discuss what is happening in the family. In some cases, it makes more sense for children to hear about the decision to separate from both parents. If this is the case, make sure that you repeatedly tell your children that both parents will always love them and that you will always be a family. The difference will be that there will be two households. Address any concerns they have like the need to maintain a relationship with both parents. Be sure that your children understand their relationship with both parents is forever and that they will never be abandoned. Explain that a divorce does not end your child's relationship with either parent. The marriage may end, however, the parent-child relationship will continue. Generally, for young children (3-5), short, clear explanations are best. For older kids, you can explain a bit more but do not over explain. Remember they do not have to understand everything all at once. Their understanding of your divorce will evolve as they get older and will change with their age.

Another important message for kids to hear is that in no way is the divorce their fault, nor are they able to keep you together. When the idea of parents separating is completely new to your child, reinforce to them that you will make every effort to keep things stable for them. At the same time, let them know about upcoming changes. Remember children (especially ages 5 through 12) will ask the same questions repeatedly. This is normal and is their way of gaining a sense of security and reassurance about the future. It is important to keep your answers simple and consistent.

Of course, when one parent is being questioned apart from the other, that parent should reinforce that the separation/divorce is taking place because of differences between the parents. Conduct such conversations without damaging or disparaging remarks about the other parent. Children adjust more easily when parents show a healthy sense of respect and caring for the other parent despite difficult circumstances.

2. What is co-parenting and how do we do it once we are divorced?

Co-parenting responsibilities apply to all parents whether they are married or divorced. The extent that parents can effectively co-parent their children greatly determines how children will adjust to the transitions associated with divorce. Parents who have primary residential custody usually deal with more day-to-day issues concerning their child/children's welfare. aOther decisions, like those concerning religion, discipline, finances, morality, recreation, physical health, education and emergencies should be discussed and made jointly. Remember that married parents often have differing ideas about all or some of these issues. This is to be expected. There is no reason to assume that divorced parents should always agree on them either. What's important is how you deal with differences, not that they exist. It is better ...

Solution Summary

By responding to the questions, this solution provides a detailed response focused on the parent.