Creating a Conflict Free Zone for Your Child
If children are to succeed after a divorce, they must be protected from parental conflict and allowed to enjoy close relationships with both parents. Despite pain, resentment, and disagreements, it is possible for separated parents to surround their children with a “conflict-free “zone.
To create a conflict free zone, parents must learn to control and restrain themselves. They must have the consideration to refrain from arguing and fighting when their children as present. They should save discussion of volatile issues for a time when their child is not around. Because most children are attached to both parents, each untimed remark is like a physical blow.
A Code of Conduct for Parent Partners
- Settle disagreements through give and take and compromise, and respect individual differences.
- Shift gears from being marriage partners to being parent partners.
- Treat the other parent with respect, and avoid making derogatory statements about the other parent in the presence of your child.
- Avoid arguments, scenes, threats, fights, and violence, especially when your children are present
- Do not be overly critical of or try to control the other parent.
- Avoid pressuring the other parent about getting back together, and respect the other parent’s privacy.
- Do not sacrifice your child over money.
- Make child support payments on time.
- Gain the other parent’s trust by keeping your agreements and promises.
- Accept the facts that the other parent has the right to spend time with the children, and that your children have the right to a relationship with the other parent.
Cooperate in Raising the Children:
- Settle on a workable parenting plan that gives children access to both parents
- Keep ongoing contact with the children so they do not feel rejected and or abandoned.
- Prepare the children beforehand for the separation, if possible.
- Reassure the children that they can still count on both parents
- Take the parenting plan seriously
- Never disappoint the children at the last minute
- Rarely cancel plans with the children
- Establish two homes for the children with a place for their close ties and other possessions
- Maintain telephone contact with children
- Provide the children telephone access to both parents
- Have the children ready on time for the other parent
- Receive the children on time
- Call the other parent when delays are unavoidable
- Set up a hotline between parents for discussion of serious problems concerning the children.
Cooperation creates an environment in which the children feel safe, satisfied and loved. Cooperation does not mean:
- Pumping children for information about the other parent
- Trying to control the other parent
- Using the children to carry angry messages back and forth
- Using the children as pawns to hurt the other parent
- Using the children to ask for or to deliver child-support payments
- Arguing in front of the children
- Speaking derogatorily about the other parent in the children’s present
- Asking the children with whom they want to live
- Putting the children in a position of having to take sides
Parents who choose to cooperate and work together on raising their children experience many advantages:
- Fewer problems for the children
- More personal satisfaction and less frustration for the parents
- Fewer visitation problems
- If you are child-support problems
- Reduced possibility of returning to court
- Easier sharing responsibility
- Better parent-child relationships
- More freedom from conflict
- Fewer health, emotional, school, and social problems
Parenting after Separation
- See your child as soon as possible after the separation
- Encourage your child to have a positive relationship with the other parent
- See your child regularly
- Gain your child’s trust – keep promises you make to your children.
- Do not try to turn your child against the other parent
- Do not pressure your child to choose where he or she wants to live
- Avoid discussion with your child of legal and financial matters pertaining to the separation
- Cooperate when there is an emergency our crisis
- Seek help for your child if red flag symptoms persist
For further information contact John M. Lynch, Principal Solicitor, at email@example.com or telephone (052) 6124344 The material in this article is for general information only and is not legal or professional advice. While every care has been taken, we advise you to seek specific legal advice.