Every year, people are learning more about child-centered divorce and why it matters for a healthy upbringing. The idea of a child-centered divorce focuses on a peaceful divorce, co-parenting cooperatively, and learning how to avoid as many negative consequences for their children as possible.
January is International Child-Centered Divorce Month. This is the 15th year that it’s being recognized by divorce experts all across the globe. More divorces are started in January than in any other month. Repeated studies show that divorce isn’t innately damaging to children. The mistakes we make while we’re navigating our divorces are the culprit.
What Is A Child-Centered Divorce
Divorce is an extremely emotional time for
people undergoing a divorce. It’s also extremely difficult for children who are involved. The consequences of conflict and drama are much more when children are involved, too. As we stated above, the key goal of a child-centered divorce is
educating the parents on how they can make decisions that keep their children safe.
These decisions should protect the child’semotional and psychological health during the turmoil of divorce. In a child-centered divorce, parents cooperate with one another to co-parent. The children are allowed to express love for both parents and are encouraged to love the other parent openly.
A child-centered divorce looks like this:
- Forgiving yourself for any role you played in the dissolution of your marriage. Identify lessons learned and avoid repeating your mistakes.
- Letting go of the battles you’ve chosen and the past. Releasing old grievances is the quickest way toward a happier life.
- Maintaining realistic expectations about how you and your ex can co-parent. Focus on things that keep you connected with your child.
- Avoiding needless conflict, even when prompted by family, friends, and attorneys. The decisions you make about how to move forward are for you to make, no one else.
- Allowing children to love both parents and allowing the other parent to continue loving the children.
- Keeping in mind that you love your kids more than you dislike your ex. When making decisions throughout and after the divorce, this is crucial.
- Making your own decisions about your family’s future. Keep your focus settled on the wellbeing of your children and less focused on what the court systems might encourage.
- Allowing children to receive love from any new partners that come into the picture. Accepting your ex’s new spouse as part of the blended family is difficult, but children thrive when they can receive sincere love without prejudice.
- Communicating with your ex in a way that minimizes conflict and tension. Discuss any parenting issues as the two parents of a child instead of as ex-spouses.
Why a Child-Centered Divorce Is Important
We have thorough documentation of how toxic divorces affect children. You may even have personal experience with this that you can draw on for reference. It is important to remember that divorce is not the issue. Toxic divorces are. Toxic divorces can cause:
- Mental health issues
- Behavioral issues
- Negative impact on academic performance
- Risk-taking behavior
Helping children adjust after a divorce can be challenging, but the benefits of navigating a divorce with as much compassion as possible are priceless. Here are some ways you can dodge a toxic divorce:
- Avoid putting children in the middle
- Don’t weaponize your child’s visitation time
- Maintain consistent discipline
- Empower your children with healthy coping skills
Finally, if you and your ex are having difficulty navigating your divorce, reach out for help. A certified therapist can talk to you and your ex about how you can do what’s best for your children. We can even see you as a family to help your children through the transition as well. You don’t have to do this alone. With support, we can navigate this time together. Please read more about how therapy can help and contact us soon.