Family Therapist Develops Workshop to Help Parents after Divorce
Marriage and family therapist Anne Buettner has spent a lot of time working with families of divorce, so she understands the unique challenges that parents and children face. Drawing on her experience, she’s put together a workshop entitled “Parenting from Different Homes,” which offers advice and guidance to minimize the challenges families of divorce face.
According to Buettner, there are a number of fundamental rules that parents of divorce must obey:
- Rule #1—Don’t speak negatively of your ex…period. You never know when your children may be within earshot, and you don’t know who will talk to whom. If the negative comments get back to your children, you’ll put them in a precarious position, where they are trying to make both of you happy, but don’t know how to do it.
- Rule #2—Your child is not a messenger between you and your ex. Anything that you need to say to your ex should be said directly to him or her, preferably when your children are not present. There’s no more painful experience than when your child tries to act as a peacemaker between you and the other parent.
- Rule #3—Be clear that your child was not, in any way, the cause of your divorce. Sooner or later, your child will discover that not everyone has parents who are divorced, and they’ll try to figure out why their life is different. They may ask you what happened or they may simply try to figure it out on their own. Often, unfortunately, they may conclude that it was their fault. It’s best to simply accept your responsibility for the breakup, no matter how large or small. Your kids won’t love you any less for it, and you’ll build a powerful bond based on your willingness to be honest with them.