Most Minnesota parents want to remain a bedrock in their children’s development, even after divorce. But being a co-parent with someone you are now divorced from can be difficult. Hurt feelings, anger and suspicion can cloud the desire to continue to be a good Mom or Dad.
Because well-meaning parents sometimes need a little help to keep working together post-divorce, the University of Minnesota Extension has a program called Parents Forever. It is a series of courses and educational resources to help parents learn how the transition of divorce affects families, and how to adapt to this new reality so that their children do not get caught in the middle.
According to Echo Press, the Parents Forever curriculum emphasizes three relationships: the relationship between the parent and child, the relationship between the parents, and the parent’s relationship with him- or herself. When all three relationships are strong, the children are more likely to be able to cope after their parents divorce or separate.
The U of M Extension encourages both parents to participate in Parents Forever, as long as it is safe, i.e., domestic violence is not involved.
We agree that children should not have to suffer more stress, confusion and anguish than their parents’ divorce already caused. Fighting over child custody, parenting time and child support as a way of “getting back” at the other spouse can be destructive and emotionally damaging to the kids.
Besides educating yourself, another way to avoid this sort of toxic battle is to have an attorney who understands the law, and how to negotiate a fair divorce settlement.