Divorce effects on children: Hope for families in conflict | Saint Paul, MN

One Bridge to Peace brings hope for Minnesota families trapped in conflict.

Conventional wisdom states that it takes two willing adults to work together in order to create an environment of peace and safety for children.   But often following a divorce the harsh reality is that your spouse may not be cooperative.   So where do you find help and hope to make things better.

I attended a One Bridge to Peace seminar today and was impressed with the process and practical tips to improve life for yourself and your children.  Although the path may not be easy, and the process at times seems counter-intuitive, one parent following these principles & specific behaviors can eventually disarm and re-engage even the most bitter and contentious parent.

 One Bridge to Peace simply requires one willing adult – one caring adult who is willing to put aside anger, resentment and pride to create a peaceful and safe life for the children in their lives.

Key Truth #1: Parental Conflict Hurts Children.

Divorce & parental conflict damage and sometimes even collapse the health and well-being of our children. Family conflict, especially parental conflict (whether during the marriage, during the divorce and especially continuing after the divorce) wounds our children. Open conflict is only part of the problem. Even if the parents think the conflict is discrete or subtle, children can sense it. As parents it is essential that we do everything we can do to reduce and even eliminate harmful conflict as well as lingering acrimony.

Key Truth #2: Children Must Remain Connected to Both Parents. 

Children want and generally need to stay connected to both parents. Even if the parent-child connection is only limited to supervised parenting time, the child has to transition from one parent to another. In a typical parenting time arrangement a child may transition between parental homes two or three times each week. Divorcing or divorced parents often leave children to navigate on their own the emotional minefield that exists between their parents and their parental homes. They sometimes get caught up in anger at the other party and lose sight of the fact that the other party is also their child’s parent. Responsible parents need to pay attention to what can be done to improve the parent-child transitions as well as parent-child connections.

Key Truth #3: We Can Only Change Ourselves.

We can only improve what we have direct control over and that means we have to accept the fact that we have NO CONTROL over what the other parent says or does. We can only change and control what we ourselves do. That is the only real power we have as individuals. By changing ourselves – even if it seems we are “right” and the other party is “wrong” – we ultimately change the way that the other party interacts with us. Choosing specific behaviors disarms people who seem to want to stay in conflict and leads to an environment of civility first, followed by true peace.

Key Truth #4: The Right Thing (for our kids) Often Seems Unfair (to us). 

While it “takes two to tango,” it only takes one parent to minimize or even eliminate conflict. Taking the steps to end conflict seems counter-intuitive. It doesn’t seem “fair” to apologize or continue to reach out peacefully to someone who has hurt us in the past – and continues to hurt us on a daily basis. In fact, it isn’t fair. But it is a necessary sacrifice to protect children from damage caused by divorce conflict. Fortunately, in the end, eliminating conflict, as well as acrimony, pays rewards for the adults involved as well – eliminating conflict is foundational to moving on after a divorce.

Dorman Mediation hightly recommends attending a  One Bridge for Peace workshop.

This model can be used to reduce conflict in every situation – marriage, work, community, neighborhoods, as well as divorced or divorcing families. Conflict tears away at the very fabric of our lives.  Attend one of these workshops and start building One Bridge to Peace in your own life and the lives of the children you care about deeply.   www.familylifebridge.com



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