Washington State Parenting Help Programs

Parenting Help Programs Aid Divorcing Families

Parenting Help Programs

Parenting help programs provide solutions that assist intact families live in harmony. They also benefit families that are separating or divorcing to work through the changes taking place and still get along. Going through a divorce is a highly stressful situation, not only for the parents, but for the children, too. The parents tend to have difficulty understanding all that is happening during the divorce process. Children understand less or nothing at all and can blame themselves or their conduct for the separation. Their security is being taken away. They will have to adjust to new homes, schools and making new friends, often with quarreling parents.

There are methods of making co-parenting easier on the children throughout divorce:

  • Children still need both parents. They should be encouraged to have a close relationship with the non-custodial parent.
  • Research has shown that children function well in two homes after a divorce when the parents remain cooperative and make sure the children have a good relationship with the ex-spouse.
  • Don't make last minute changes to the established parenting plan. Being late to pick up the children or keeping them longer than stipulated is hard on the child and causes friction with the ex-spouse.
  • When you need to speak with your former spouse, set aside a time to talk directly with him. Don't use your children as message carriers; especially if the message is negative.
  • Being concerned about your ex-spouse is normal, but asking your children about what he's doing or who he's seeing forces them to choose one parent over the other. This is extremely unfair to the children.
  • Parenting skills can be improved and made more positive through parenting help programs. These courses are even available online at minimal expense and maximum convenience. Parents divorcing in high conflict situations may be required to take these courses by the court in order to fulfill requirements of their custody agreements.

    Several essential topics are covered in parenting help programs, including:

  • Effects of divorce on the family
  • Divorce stress and anger management
  • Boundary setting during the divorce
  • Styles of parenting
  • Assertive communication
  • Helping children transition successfully
  • Disciplining children during divorce
  • Blending families after a divorce
  • Despite the happy beginning of a marriage, half the marriages in the United States end in divorce. This can be a major crisis for the entire family. Continued involvement with the children by both parents is a must. Working out a new arrangement for parenting by both spouses can help the children feel secure even during all the changes taking place around them. Co-parenting skills along with communication and conflict resolution methods will help contact between ex-partners to remain positive for the children's benefit.

    Parents completing help programs, even when mandated by the court, will take away new skills that allow them to make positive life changes on their own terms. The programs fulfill the court obligation while providing valuable information about improving family interactions and relationships.

    Disciplining young children during divorce proceedings can be extremely difficult. The children sense the tensions surrounding them and often act out as a result. Learning new parenting techniques is a must. Parenting help programs provide new techniques that aid parents to stay in control. Since the parents are already stressed to the full with the divorce, control without explosive anger is hard to maintain. The help programs assist parents to discipline with:

  • Consistence — Make certain children know the consequences of their actions and then stick to the rules every time. If the punishment specified is a time-out, it must be enforced quickly and consistently. The parent must only give a warning of punishment if he/she is going to follow through on it. Empty threats undermine the parent's authority and confuse the child who doesn't understand why he is punished one time and not another.
  • Eliminate tempting objects — Toddlers have natural curiosity. Things they watch their parents use: TV remotes, phones, stereos, radios and other items could end up in the toilet, hammered to pieces, or otherwise made unusable. Choking hazards always need to be put out of reach. These can include jewelry, loose buttons and even small parts on children's toys that can be put into the child's mouth. For safety, cleaning products and medicines MUST be kept on high shelves or in locked cabinets.
  • Provide distractions — The toddler may move toward a dangerous object. The parent should calmly say, "No." Then distract the child with another toy or activity, or remove the child to another area of the house. This makes slapping, spanking or hitting a child unnecessary. Parenting help programs teach that children this age can't connect between unwanted behavior and physical punishment.
  • Parenting help programs are constructed and taught by licensed marriage and family therapists who have had years working with court systems. They help make family relations work after the divorce and all legal aspects have been settled.