As divorcing parents, you are dealing with many emotions and so are your children.
Helping your children understand and adapt to the breakup of the family structure is difficult, but there are ways to make it easier for everyone.
Children know when discord exists between parents, and they are also aware when discord is absent. In 2018, researchers from the Canadian Department of Justice published their findings concerning parental conflict. Their studies showed that this kind of conflict is especially harmful to children’s adjustment, mental health, self-esteem, success in school and in future relationships. During litigation, children are often exposed to high-conflict divorce, including verbal altercations between their parents.
Setting an example
As an alternative to litigation, mediation is a divorce option that many parents prefer because it is less stressful, less expensive and less contentious. It is a private process that emphasizes cooperation and communication between the parties as they work to develop a mutually satisfactory settlement agreement. Parents have the opportunity to set an example for their children by explaining the benefits of the mediation process and showing that they can work together to accomplish their goals for the family going forward.
A parenting plan provides a blueprint for co-parenting and serves as another positive in helping children adjust to life after the family breakup. The communication skills parents practice during mediation carry over to the post-divorce era. Such skills are essential to the parenting plan to minimize conflict, help the children remain close to their parents and enjoy the love and attention that only parents can provide.