Research has shown that co-parenting is a vital family mechanism in predicting mental health in children and adolescents. We continue to see that a child's mental well being is directly impacted by not the divorce itself but rather how the two parents interact and treat one another following the divorce. One of the most difficult challenges any co parent can face is learning to create a new norm within a relationship that has lost its intimate connection but not it's connection as parents. Because of the history and individual stories embedded in to the relationship, it is common for empathy to feel low. This can cause more negative and reactive behaviors which in turn can impact children and their own behaviors.
As parents, we are constant guides for our children. We are directly and indirectly creating core beliefs and memories that will influence their behaviors, relationship with others and relationship with their self well into their adult years. My work focuses on teaching parents who are parenting from two different homes, how to coordinate their parenting efforts to insulate their children from ongoing conflict. This work is almost exclusively focused on helping parents recognize and support the best interests of their child(ren). These sessions are focused and directive. We work on changing/improving the behaviors needed to communicate better, solve problems together, resolve conflict, manage anger and interact more effectively and with less conflict. I believe it is important to empower co parents by teaching them and allowing them to preserve their ability to work together on behalf of their children. Thus allowing them to maintain the right to make decisions for their children and raise them in a cohesive way without the intervention from the court system.