Advantages When Parents Choose to Cooperate During/After Divorce:

There are many advantages when parents choose to work together on raising their children after divorce.

  • children have fewer problems
  • more personal satisfaction and less frustration for parents
  • visitations goes much better
  • fewer child-support issues
  • reduced possibility of returning to court
  • it is easier to share responsibility
  • better parent-child relationships
  • less conflict and more often freedom from conflict
  • fewer health, emotional, school, and social problems for all involved

Source:  Bienefeld, F., Williams, F.  Helping Your Child Through Your Divorce.  (1995).  Hunter House, Inc., Alameda, CA

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What Parental Cooperation Does Not Mean:

Once again, when parents cooperate during or after a divorce, it creates an environment where children feel safe, satisfied, and loved.

Cooperation does not mean:

  • pumping your children for information about the other parent
  • controlling or trying to control the other parent (as this is usually done by using the child)
  • using the children as messengers to carry angry messages back and forth
  • hurting the other parent by use of the children
  • having the children deliver or ask for child-support payments
  • arguing or fighting in front of the children
  • using derogatory comments about the other parent in front of the children
  • asking the children with whom they wish to live
  • placing the children in a position of having to take sides with either parent

Source:  Bienefeld, F., Williams, F.  Helping Your Child Through Your Divorce.  (1995).  Hunter House, Inc., Alameda, CA

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How to Cooperate in Raising the Children After Divorce

Bottom-line, in order for your child to cope with the process of divorce, it requires cooperation between you and the other parent.  Cooperation means:

  • establish a parenting plan which gives access to both parents
  • parents keep ongoing contact with the children so they don’t feel rejected or abandoned
  • parents prepare the children prior to the separation, if possible
  • parents reassure children they can still count on both of them
  • take the parenting plan seriously
  • make the rule, you will not disappoint the child at the last minute
  • seldom cancel plans with your children if it can be helped
  • children need two homes established where they can have a place for their clothes, toys, and possessions
  • maintain limited telephone contact with the children (be careful this doesn’t make child feel they should be concerned about your well-being)
  • provide the children telephone access to both parents when necessary
  • have the children ready on time for the other parent
  • be prepared to receive the children on time
  • be courteous and call the other parent when delays are unavoidable
  • create “protocol” when discussions need to take place between parents when serious issues arise concerning the children

 

Source:  Bienefeld, F., Williams, F.  Helping Your Child Through Your Divorce.  (1995).  Hunter House, Inc., Alameda, CA

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Creating a Conflict-Free Zone for Your Child During/After Divorce

It is important for parents to know, if their children are going to succeed after divorce, it is their job to protect the children from parental conflict and allow them to enjoy close relationships with both parents.  A buffer zone, away from the conflict free zone where the child and parents interact remains neutral, where the child is shielded from the put-downs, arguments, threats, and tension.

Parents can learn to control and restrain themselves to create the conflict free environment and agree to refrain from argument in front of the children.  Because children are attached to both parents, the child experiences what is similar to a physical blow when unkind remarks are made by either parent about the other.   It makes the child fearful, miserable, and teaches them negative lessons about life and about relationships which can last a lifetime.

Divorcing parents want to take special thought and effort to provide their children with a safe environment enabling them to grow up feeling good about their lives and about themselves.  One way to initiate this action is to take responsibility for their role in the relationship.  It will keep them from portraying themselves as a victim and placing blame on the other parent.  This action can be very difficult, yet essential.  If verbal or physical abuse is occurring, try to understand your role in allowing the situation to continue or cease.  No one wants to be mistreated, but people tend to seek and find a relationship that suits their needs.  Much of how we are treated by others depends on how we feel about ourselves.  If we start to feel more worthy of respect and love, we are more likely to choose a situation that is positive and loving.  We can learn and grow by stopping the blame of others and begin the observations of how to change our behaviors and attitudes.

Source:   Bienefeld, F., Williams, F.  Helping Your Child Through Your Divorce.  (1995).  Hunter House, Inc., Alameda, CA.

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To Determine Your Future, First Understand Your Past

When we make strategic decisions, we tend to focus on the future.  Our dreams are projected into the future, our hopes fulfilled in those dreams, and so on.

We do this because we believe we can determine our future.  What we tend to forget is, every future has a past, and that past is the foundation on which that future is built.

The important question is not, ‘How do I imagine my future?’, but ‘How do I create a connection, a bridge, between the past and the future?’  This can apply to any goal, project, etc.  This model was developed by The Grove consulting agency, designed to help you process what was relevant in your past to keep the good and leave behind the negative.  You can then take with you the skills you need to enhance your future endeavors.

This is how it works:  you define the time frame or event – e.g. the last year, your marriage, or the founding of a company through today – from the beginning of that time period, you add the following to the timeline either alone or in a group:

  • The people involved.
  • Your goals (at the time).
  • The successes.
  • The obstacles you overcame.
  • What you learned.

This model will reveal the importance we attach to our past.  The most important part of this assessment is to learn and reflect, so we try not to bring the same mistakes with us.  Otherwise, we aren’t growing as we progress.

Source:    Krogerus, M., Tschappeler, R., The Decision Book (The Making-Of Model). W. W. Norton & Co. N. Y. / London.

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