Divorcing Moms: How Confidential Therapy Can Help You Co-Parent & Cope In Your New Role

Sometimes, the part of the divorce process women find most difficult can often be directly after it is finalized. This is when women often feel frustrated and vulnerable due to role changes, environmental changes, and possibly financial changes. With all these changes occurring at once, women often come in feeling a bit overwhelmed and at times, feel that they are unable to communicate their feelings or requests with their former spouse effectively. For this reason, we are here to help you.

Here are some quick tips for mothers after divorce:

The key to co-parenting is to focus on your child. This can be very difficult and it also means that your own emotions towards the divorce or your ex has to come second to the needs of your child. Setting aside such strong feelings may be the hardest part of learning to work cooperatively with your ex. Co-parenting is not about your feelings, or those of your ex, but rather about your child’s happiness, stability, and future well-being.

Always remember, YOU are the parent and only you and your ex will know what is best for your child. Forceful family and friends telling you how to raise your child and how to deal with your ex will only complicate the situation. Therefore, say thanks but no thanks when outside opinions become intrusive.

  • Make sure your child doesn’t speak negatively about the other parent. This also means you should keep the negative feelings about the other parent to yourself when your child is within earshot. Transferring these feelings will do nothing but confuse the child or worsen their view on their new reality.
  • Communicate aspects of your child’s development (dating, school, sports, etc.) with the other parent
  • When you’re asking, make sure you are really asking and not demanding or attempting to make your ex feel guilty. Your new relationship will have to be based on flexibility, respect and compromise. So, ask your ex questions such as “What do you think about…” or “How do you feel about…”. This is known to encourage respectful behaviors from both parties and avoid unnecessary arguments.
During the divorce process it can be difficult to not be curious about your ex and what they’re doing in this new situation. Here are a few tips on how to keep the new parenting relationship with your ex more positive.

  • A child should never have to choose between parents
  • Don’t use your child as a source of information or gossip about your ex
  • Never alienate a child from the other parent
Face it, if you have children with your ex, the best thing you can do for yourself and your children would be to learn how to communicate with them. This means avoiding unnecessary confrontations! So the next time you’re fuming with anger, put the phone away and write down your feelings. Wait until you’re not in the heat of the moment to communicate and think to yourself: “Is what I want to say beneficial to my child?” It’s healthier for your child’s well-being if they see you cooperating, communicating, and working together. If accomplishing this is a problem, consider taking the time to see a Family Mediator. Family Mediators are certified professionals that can help find the best way for you and your ex to co-parent in an effective and healthy manner. Consider therapy independently, especially if your ex will not agree to mediation, or you believe your personal emotions and/or behaviors would interfere with, or impede your ability to work cooperatively in mediation.  Here is a guide of signs that you and your ex should see a Family Mediator:

  • You always argue and disagree when you try communicating
  • Violent or abusive behavior from one or both parents
  • Verbal or physical aggression between parents
  • Inconsistent parenting: bedtime, diet, kinds of movies or music, curfew, etc.
  • Patterns of alienating the child from one parent
  • Parent shows no empathy or concern about how their behavior affects the child
  • Parent is using a child as a “spy” or “messenger”
In a divorce, children will be dealing with a lot of questions, stress, and changes. All of these things can really effect your child. As a parent you should be on the look out for issues that may be effecting your child. Always remember that its okay to seek out professional help when you need it, whether it be support groups, seeing a family mediator, or maybe even a psychologist. Children should be seen by a professional when you come across these issues:

  • Isolation from others
  • Poor grades or behavior in school
  • Child refuses to see a parent
  • Child no longer enjoys activities they used to enjoy
  • Strange, odd, or extreme behaviors or emotions (crying, screaming, or giving attitude)
  • Signs of distress
  • Noticeable changes in child’s activeness or interests
  • One child is firmly aligned with one parent
  • Poor concentration
  • Trouble with too much or not enough sleep

For adults and children, our clinicians offer goal-oriented individual therapy for key emotional and behavioral concerns, as well as separation and divorce counseling. Give us a call today for a consultation with one of our clinicians: 561-429-2140

Date: November 9th, 2013 | Categories: Uncategorized | By: | Comments: 0

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