In a speech in 1858, Abraham Lincoln declared, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Then, Lincoln saw that a divided nation was not a viable future future for our country. When parents divorce, they separate their homes, but hopefully, for the children, they do not become divided as parents. The quality of the parental relationship after a divorce has an important impact on the adjustment of the children, and parents with ongoing disharmony between them carries emotional risks for children.
Parents who are in the Collaborative Divorce Process have a unique opportunity to prepare for co-parenting together as decision makers and guides for their children when the divorce is over. As a Neutral Child Specialist, I help parents write their Parenting Plan. Parents often agree to and insert these words into their Parenting Plan: we will make decisions jointly regarding the children’s educational needs, health issues, social and sports, arts and religious activities, and other important areas of their children’s lives. Making decisions jointly and parenting together are important words and an important goal for parents.
Parents making decisions together jointly after a divorce can be a challenging task when they already have had great difficulty with resolving their differences. These parents often find that when they try to communicate, they repeat their old unsuccessful communication patterns where old emotional wounds flare, and anger and frustration ignite.
Parents who use a Collaborative Practice team that have a Neutral Child Specialist and a Neutral Divorce Coach receive expert assistance with developing a unified parenting approach. These professionals help parents to:
- Learn how to be aware of unproductive communication patterns that developed from painful interactions in the past, and develop skills for preventing these emotions from spilling over into the parenting of the children and the communications with the other parent
- Practice co-parent communication and problem solving
- Make the children’s needs central to their decision making
Parents give their children a great gift when they make it a priority to be unified about their children’s needs during and after the divorce. When they do this, they are providing the ingredients of support and stability for the children so that the children can do their own job of moving forward in their lives, learning, growing, developing, and thriving.Tagged with: children in divorce • children's emotional adjustment to divorce • Collaborative Divorce • collaborative process • communication • conflict in divorce • divorce attorney • divorce options • Divorce Process • keeping children at the center • neutral child specialist • Parenting Plans