Author: Danielle Forshee, Psy.D, LCSW
Divorce alone does not have a negative impact on children. The conflict and hostility that arises between parents is what causes the long-term negative psychological effects. The goal in co-parenting counseling is to achieve better communication and learn how to problem-solve for your child’s best interests, even though you and your ex are no longer together.
- Prepare yourself for your child’s reactions based on your child’s developmental stage. Parents often mistakenly blame the other parent or punish the child for behaviors that are expected from a child experiencing a divorce.
- Ensure your child is spending a consistent (and as close to equivalent) amount of time with each parent. Results of a 25-year-long study (Wallerstein & Lewis, 2004) found that adult children of divorce consistently recalled the loss of their parents’ availability as the most distressing aspect of the divorce.
- The more you can problem-solve in front of your child the better adjusted your child will be. The first lesson a child has in effective communication and conflict-resolution is through watching and listening to their parents. Your influence is very powerful.
The above tips are only an introduction to the benefits of what co-parenting counseling sessions can provide for you, in the best interest of your child. If you are considering a divorce or have already begun the process, co-parenting counseling is always suggested to help prevent any potential negative future impact.