Help to navigate divorce

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Divorce doesn’t have to spell disaster for children or their parents, says the author of a University of Queensland program designed to help families after separation.

Triple P founder and co-author of UQ’s 12-week Family Transitions Triple P program Professor Matt Sanders said the most important thing parents could do to minimise the impact of divorce on their children was to focus on the needs of their children and develop a healthy co-parenting relationship.

“Consistent evidence shows that children exposed to high levels of conflict between their parents, whether married or divorced, are at significant risk for behavioural, emotional and academic problems,’’ Professor Sanders said.

“Things have certainly improved in Australia since the 1950s when divorce was almost a taboo subject but to some degree divorce is still suffering from an image problem.

“In many cases, divorced parents work things out amicably, but these cases go completely under the radar.

“Some parents get so stuck in the conflict with their ex-partner that they rely on a judge to make even the most basic decisions about their children’s lives.

“Divorce should be a time of transition, rather than an identity the family holds on to.”

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Professor Sanders said the original 12-week program had really important, beneficial effects for both children and parents but it was designed for parents who were having significant problems.

“A new, half-day workshop is more of a light-touch program for parents who just want to minimise the impact of separation on the whole family,” he said.

(Source: The University of Queensland)

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Date Created: September 10, 2014