Fighting over custody of children can take a toll on both parents during an already mentally trying time. These individuals and their offspring can feel great anxiety over this time of conflict. Taking on the situation in a mature way can alleviate difficulties and lessen negative feelings already common in divorces.
Ugo Uche, a licensed professional counselor and contributor with Psychology Today, outlined three specific rules parents should follow during custody negotiations.
Uche opined that parents should think about what is in the best interest of the children when deciding custody, rather than acting on grudges and depriving kids of vital figures in their lives.
“Children who have had no contact with a parent often experience an emotional wound that never really goes away, with the only remedy being to accept their loss, until they have an opportunity to reconnect with the other parent,” Uche wrote in the article titled “Three Rules for Negotiating Child Custody.”
He also reminded parents that demonizing each other in front of objective third parties often has no beneficial outcomes. Professionals of various kinds will likely see through the negative smokescreen and even think less of the trash talker.
Uche also cautioned parents against creating too many rules and regulations for children to follow, such as limits on communication. He said that these kinds of needless boundaries can create opportunities for children to manipulate their parents.
“I will often tell parents that if the only time they unite for the sake the child is when the child is in trouble, they have put themselves in a vulnerable position of being reactive, instead of anticipating and making plans,” Uche cautioned.
Experts such as Seth Meyers, Psy.D., observed that mental health damage in children of divorced parents is not a given. Rather, it is dependent on the civility of the divorce and the parents involved. For example, if parents talk negatively about each other to the children, it can cause anxiety and depression in their young ones.
Meyers recommended other behaviors to preserve the mental health of everyone involved, such as consistent communication concerning custody between parents and children, especially in the later years as the youths engage in extracurricular activities. Meyers, in his article called “Divorced Parents: Kids Should Decide Where They Live,” said that parents need to let go of strict custody arrangements during these times and let children grow their own identities.
In cases of poisonous divorce proceedings, children may grow into adults with mental illnesses that need treatment. As such, seeing a mental health professional can be a necessity.
Sovereign Health of Arizona provides treatment to women who experienced trauma, such as difficult relationships and dysfunctional childhoods. Our knowledgeable and empathetic counselors are ready to listen. Call our 24/7 helpline to find out more.
Written by Nicholas Ruiz, Sovereign Health Group writer
Get the latest news on program developments, behavioral health news and company announcements