4 Ways a Divorce Education Program Can Help Your Children
What effect does divorce have on children?
About ten percent of children in families today experience some sort of psychological problem warranting a therapist or psychologist. In children of divorced parents, the figure goes up to thirty or forty percent.
Many parents don’t realize the traumatic psychological effects that a divorce can have on their children. Partially this is because they may be experiencing anger and hurt themselves and are unable to empathize with their children’s feelings. But often it is simply that the parents don’t realize just how much their kid is being affected by the divorce.
One trend that is helping to alleviate this problem is the number of divorce education programs sprouting up all across the U.S. Currently the number of these programs stands at over a thousand. Some of the programs are available on line as well.
Typically these programs focus on the following main issues:
1) Eliminating or reducing parental conflict in front of the children – When a child sees the two primary adult caretakers in his or her life constantly fighting, it causes them to have feelings of anxiety or stress. But, just as importantly, you are also teaching your children how to act in relationships. Kids are like sponges, they absorb what they see, especially from their parents. By fighting in front of your children you are, in effect, telling them that this is the way to resolve problems. A divorce education program will show you a better way of handling conflicts.
2) Don’t use the kids as bargaining chips – Your kids are not pawns to be used in disagreements with your spouse to win arguments or to get your way. It’s easy to forget this, especially if you have self esteem issues yourself. Whether the issue is child support, parental custody, visiting privileges, or whatever – don’t treat your kids like chess pieces. Unless you wish them to grow up with huge emotional and psychological issues.
3) Don’t wall off the child from either parent – Many times one parent will try to prevent the other parent from seeing or interacting with the kids. It may be a misguided attempt to “punish” the other parent, it may simply be mean spiritedness, or it may be one parent afraid to give up control. Unless there is some underlying issue why one parent shouldn’t see the child, such as past chid abuse, this does no good for the kid at all. To have the best chance of growing up well adjusted, kids need a sound relationship with both of their parents.
4) Remembering that the child’s welfare come’s first – Getting a divorce is difficult, we know. But it’s not all about the parents. It’s about everyone in the family relationship – parents and kids alike. Keeping this simple fact in mind will not only make the transition easier for the kids, it often improves the relationship between the divorcing parents as well. Keeping the welfare of your kids at the forefront of your mind, makes the whole divorce and after divorce more civil.
If you really care about your children and want to do all you can to protect them after the divorce, divorce education programs can do that and more. Think about joining one today, if you haven’t already.