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Addressing post-divorce communication issues

Navigating life after divorce is not easy, especially for parents who will continue to play active roles in raising their children. One particularly thorny issue many people face is figuring out the frequency and acceptable methods of communication between parents and children.

While parents may be tempted to minimize or table the matter of communication, it can be crucial to address this issue when discussing parenting plans. According to a recent study, contact between kids and their parents after divorce can have a powerful impact on the parent-youth relationship. To ease post-divorce communication, consider technology apps that can coordinate and streamline both households and facilitate contact.

More contact, better relationships

Researchers found that children between the ages of 10-18 reported better well-being and resiliency when they had frequent communication with both parents after divorce.

The data suggests that, regardless of the relationship between parents, children fare better when they can have more communication with each parent. Being able to communicate with both parents allows children to feel safe and supported. And parents benefit from having higher levels of parental knowledge.

Utilizing this information in your plan

It can be worth considering this research as you create your own parenting plan during a divorce. The parenting plan as to communication, must consider factors like your child’s age and familiarity with technology.

For instance, you might explicitly state that your teen can call or text either parent, but set a limit on hours. This can ensure your child isn’t distracted during school hours or staying up too late. You might also agree to share information if your child is being deceptive or dishonest with one parent.

For younger children, you may not want them to have free reign of a cellphone or computer. However, you could decide to have nightly (or regular) video chats between your child and the other parent to catch up on the day and say goodnight.

We are more connected than ever, and using these connections to foster positive relationships can be crucial – particularly during difficult events like a divorce. As such, creating and implementing a solid plan for communication between parents and kids after divorce can set the stage for youth resiliency.

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Nachlis & Fink
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