Health & Wellness

Helping Our Children During Difficult Times of Divorce and Separation

Maria Sikoutris Di Iorio of Hellenic Therapy Center

The reality is that a successful relationship takes hard work and a successful divorce takes harder work.  It’s difficult to stop being “intimate partners” and become just two people working together to raise a child.  The good news is that with patience and persistence you can have a positive divorce.  Divorce is ranked at the top of the list of stressful life events.  A good divorce has three components:  1) The family remains a family, 2) The negative effects on children are minimized and 3) Both ex-spouse integrate the divorce into their lives in a healthy way. 

Having a good divorce means identifying the reality of your situation and focusing on creating a positive response for your family and children.

            Truths to keep in mind:

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  • Family change hurts:  It involves painful adjustments for parents, children and others.  The good news is that there are things parents can do to ease the discomfort for children and themselves.
  • Parents are leaders for children: It can be difficult to lead anyone when you are feeling injured, angry or fearful.  The good news is that parents can do things to help themselves become stronger and work through their anger.
  • Single parenting is difficult: It can feel strange to be a parent without the safety net of a two-parent home (that is, comfort in knowing that someone else is there to help).   Children can develop very well within two separate loving and supportive homes.
  • There are many things parents cannot control:  People can feel anxious and scared when they cannot find a source of personal power in a difficult situation.  The good news is that you do have control over your response to change.
  • Children have the right to be kept out of the middle of their parents’ conflict, including the right not to pick sides, carry messages, or hear complaints about the other parent. The good news is that you have the  right to protect your children in this way.

The idea of cooperating with your former partner in any area may seem like an impossible job.  However, when you have children it is a job that has to be done.  Many parents have been quite successful, over time, in creating a partnership focused only on parenting issues.  This new relationship looks and feels very different. 

At the Hellenic Therapy Center, 567 Park Avenue, Scotch Plains, New Jersey, we have a team of professionals who specialize in working with families and individuals going through transition.  You may visit  Hellenic Therapy Center is available for day, evening and weekend hours. You may call 908-322-0112.

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