We have often written about the effects of divorce on children, particularly young school-aged kids. Parental divorce, if handled incorrectly, can cause a child emotional pain and stress that negatively affects school success, friendships and even physical health.
Parents going through a split may hear the phrase "child-centered divorce" every now and again. But what does it mean? And how can divorcing couples in North Florida make sure that their child does not have to pay terrible consequences because of his parents' divorce?
Some great advice on the matter actually comes from a divorced mother in Florida named Rosalind Sedacca. A recent article shares the story of how she and her ex-husband worked together with "cooperative co-parenting" to minimize the impact of their divorce on their son.
The advice she offers is certainly not easy, and not all of it may not be possible for every family. But according to the article, Sedacca and her ex-husband kept their son's life stable by both staying involved with his education and working to maintain a consistent home life for him at both of their respective houses.
The first piece of advice the article offers is for parents to communicate about the divorce to teachers, counselors and other school staff members who need to know. This way, there is a team of adults who understand the situation and can keep an eye out for signs of change or difficulty the student might be experiencing.
There is one caveat with this approach, however. Each parent needs to keep their anger and personal feelings (about the other parent) in check when speaking to school staff. Don't go into unnecessary or overly personal details, and don't badmouth the other parent.
Divorcing parents are also encouraged to work out a general and consistent public message when informing others of their divorce. One divorce mediation expert suggests something as simple as: "Things got really bad between us, so we decided to split, but we're working to put the children first."
Check back later this week as we discuss more tips on how to use cooperative co-parenting to help kids stay emotionally healthy during divorce.
Source: SchoolFamily.com, "Divorce: How To Help Your Child at Home and at School," Patti Ghezzi