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Co-parenting after Divorce

          Jeffrey Zimmerman in the 2019 Journal of Health Service Psychology dealt with the issue of co-parenting by high-conflict divorced parents. I thought some of the points he made were worth sharing, as follows.

          After divorce, the children remain, now as part of a splintered family. Their parents remain as people who need to co-parent, although they may not get along and probably have been at odds for some time. Nevertheless they have not divorced their children, whom they know need their ongoing involvement and steady emotional support, which they want to give. After all, they do recognize how important they are to their children's continued development and overall welfare.

          However, if the conflicts that led to the divorce are still active, they can greatly interfere with co-parenting. Zimmerman (2019) cites research findings that support the detrimental effects of ongoing parental conflict on children. In short, the less cooperatively mothers and fathers co-parent, the higher the risk for negative outcomes for the children. It can be beneficial for them to realize that there is a wide range of of competent parenting styles. Children can adjust to differences in approach. Certain commonalities and goals can be agreed upon, even if executed differently.

It is vital that parents who are still in conflict move as quickly as possible to become child-centered rather than couple-centered. The focus is best placed on their future relationship as co-parents rather than their past as a marital pair.

REFERENCE

Zimmerman, J. (2019). Co-parenting counseling with high-conflict divorced  parents:Challenges for psychologists at all levels of experience. Journal of Health Service Psychology, 45(7), Issue 2, 66-71.

   

     


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