Parents who get divorced face many special challenges. Coordinating activities and establishing a parenting schedule is a new experience for many, as things were simpler in some respects when everyone lived in the same household. The marriage is over, and while there may be lingering animosities and resentments, both parents need to find ways to cooperate and work together for the good of the children. A program being offered in Yuma County, Arizona, may prove helpful to some divorced parents.
It is called “New Beginnings,” and is being led by personnel at Arizona State University and supported by the Yuma County Superior Court, as well as receiving funding from the National Institute of Health. Children need to be able to rely on the help of both parents after a divorce. You divorce your spouse, but you don’t “divorce” your children. The focus of the program is on helping parents find a structured way of providing the kind of parenting that is needed under the new circumstances.
Divorced parents have many challenges and often experience a lot of stress. The program tries to enhance communication skills, and to try to reduce conflicts that children may feel because of differences between their two parents. In some circumstances, the entire family needs to understand how to have fun together at common events even if the parents are not together anymore, such as birthdays, school events, graduations, etc.
By making a conscious effort to improve things, both parents can serve as an invaluable resource when one or more of their children needs help in life. The program has been ongoing in the county for approximately 18 months and will continue for at least two years longer. The program is offered to parents who have been divorced in the last 24 months and whose children are from ages three through 18.
Source: Yuma Sun, “Program offers parenting skills for families of divorce” James Gilbert, Jan. 19, 2014