Step 2: Protect Children

Children are the most important concern in the Alpha Center divorce mediation program. They are always going to be impacted by separation or divorce but they do not have to be traumatized. Kids are affected by their parents’ decisions, discussions, and actions.

When parents work together with experienced professionals, their children will not only survive but can thrive after divorce. When parents fight with each other, their children are torn apart by the “tug of war” and often carry the battle scars far into their adult years.

Although Husbands and Wives can terminate their marriage, they will always be parents. There is a lifetime of important moments ahead, like graduations, weddings, and grandchildren. It is far better for your children if you make these moments of comfort through cooperation rather than discomfort and tension. The best gift you can give a child of separation or divorce is a healthy co-parenting relationship.

Alpha Mediation Meeting: Parenting Agreement

Parents meet together with a Parenting-Mediator who has the training and expertise to know what children need when their parents separate or divorce. They can advise parents on when to tell the children about your changing relationship and what to tell them.

Since parents have the most expertise about their own children, they help the Therapist-Mediator understand the unique nature of their children and the challenges of their individual situations.

Together these three “experts” create a plan for transitioning the children into separate households and ensuring that they get all the love and support from both parents that they need in the future.

The Parenting Agreement sets standards for a healthy co-parenting relationship as well as weekly, holiday, and vacation schedules. The Agreement will also address the healthiest way to introduce their children to new romantic partners the divorcing spouses may find.

Parents are encouraged to follow the plan but also to be flexible when the schedule needs to be adjusted for them or the children.

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Questions and Answers

How will Separation and Divorce impact our Children?

Children will handle divorce in a very similar way to their parents:

  • If parents remain civil, calm, and cooperative, their children will do the same.
  • If parents are locked in angry conflict, children will suffer as though they are civilians in a war zone or lash out with anger.
  • If communication between their parents is “icy,” children will suffer as though they are living in a deep freeze.
  • It should come as no surprise that parents have a profound effect on the well-being and behavior of their children. Parents are powerful role models for how to handle conflict and adversity. While this is an understandably difficult time for the parents, it is a very teachable moment for children that could impact their future relationships.
  • Parents who work through the Alpha Center program for divorce mediation understand that, although they are ending their marriage, they will be parents for life. They commit themselves to putting their differences aside so that they can do what is best for their children. Although it is sometimes a difficult climb, they choose the “high road” because they know how much it will benefit their children during divorces and for years thereafter.

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