Divorce places many strains on a family, especially the relationship of the parents to the children. When a couple with children divorce, research shows that continued involvement by both parents is essential to the well-being and success of the children. Of course, in the heat of a divorce proceeding, this may be easier said than done.
Parents who have been taught to recognize these issues and how to improve them, have had better success with their children after a divorce. Researchers from Arizona State University have developed a program designed to help reduce problem with children during a divorce, including behavioral problems, substance abuse and issues involving mental health.
The program works with mothers and fathers with the aim of improving their parenting skills, which in turn, helps to improve the relationships with their children. It also works to keep the children out of arguments and conflicts that arise between the divorced parents. Reducing or eliminated that conflict is show to be very beneficial to children of a divorce.
One area that is often a problem in divorced families is discipline. Parents struggle on how to ensure that children receive a consistent message, when the parents may not always agree. The program helps parents develop the skills necessary properly discipline their children in a way that improves the parent/child relationship.
While the mother/child relationship is critical, the program also highlights the importance of father’s relationship with their children. It found that having fathers actively listen to their children, helping with homework and spending time alone with each of their children has a positive impact. This combined with effective discipline improved children’s behavior after a divorce.