It’s impossible to avoid conflict completely, but you can learn to control it. Here are nine useful tips for reducing the harmful effects of conflict during and after divorce.
There are several things parents can do to protect their children from conflict and reduce the harmful effects of long-term conflict during and after divorce. Some solutions require the aid of others, including the court and a parenting co-ordinator. A divorce coach can help work out a plan as well as reduce conflict between co-parents too.
A child will try to resolve loyalty conflicts in several ways, including:
• having a separate but equal connection with each parent
• trying to get the parents to be nice to each other
• acting out, getting into trouble, or getting sick
• becoming angels
• retreating from both parents and turning to their peers
• seeking comfort in alcohol, drugs, or risky sex.
Being caught in the middle is too great a burden for most children. The video, Children in the Middle, teaches parents to reduce the number of loyalty conflicts and the number of times the child is exposed to their arguments. The child learns to speak up when caught in the middle of parental disputes.
(Article adapted from Donald A. Gordon and Jack Arbuthnot)