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- Arguing every day about the smallest things.
- Telling me that my dad is selfish and doesn’t care about anything but himself.
- Complaining that mom is an annoying nag, who can’t get a grip.
- I don’t know whether having both of them at my soccer game shows love and support or shows that our house is like a world war right now.
- I mean, what are they trying to teach me here? That being married sucks?
Unfortunately, for most children exposed to high-conflict parents, divorce usually does not end the conflict, nor does it end parents’ relationship. Although a romantic relationship is over in divorce, parents remain in a relationship of some sort. Divorce proceedings raise intensity of emotion. Subsequently, can actually heighten conflict between parents, therefore damaging behaviour can be increased in the family and impact all members, especially the children.
It takes intentional, consistent and persistent effort for parents to work together and overcome conflict and establish more appropriate and healthier conflict resolution strategies. A professionally trained mediator or counsellor can help high conflict relationships by coaching to find a common ground and new ways to structure their communication process. When there is much hurt, anger, confusion, frustration and heartbreak, a trained relationship specialist may be just what the doctor orders.
Parents who can put down verbal conflict fairly quickly and put hurt feelings aside can more quickly overcome the grieving component of separation and divorce. It is then more possible for parents to learn the skills required to effectively cooperate. This obviously provides many benefits for healthy child and family development.
- Helps reduce the child’s symptoms of stress as parental conflict decreases
- Creates a more relaxed home environment allowing for children to adjust effectively
- Enhances the child’s confidence and self-esteem by creating an environment for growth
- Removes children from the middle letting them relax and be kids
- Models how to get along with others even though you may not be happy with them
Cooperative parenting also helps parents to;
- Conserve energy at a stressful and draining time in their life
- Lower argumentative conversations and increase respectful exchanges
- Reduce the number of litigated cases
- Learn better anger management, communication, and conflict resolution skills
- Work in developing a detailed parenting plan
To create a cooperative, positive parenting plan for your family, book an appointment today.