Divorce ranks high as one of the most common adverse childhood experiences (ACE). Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are traumatic experiences that occur to kids under the age of 18, including all types of physical, emotional and verbal abuse, and neglect. ACE’s left unchecked have been linked to risky health behaviors, chronic health conditions, low life potential, and early death.
This is not to imply there is a direct correlation between divorce and early death, but you need to be mindful of how these traumas during childhood create neurobiological disruptions during the formidable years and set the stage for trouble later in life. ACE’s are surprisingly common, too. Its exposure is widespread in the US, one study from the National Survey of Children’s Health reported that approximately 68% of children 0–17 years old had experienced one or more ACEs.1
As you consider the benefits of co-parenting, weigh the positive implications for the health and well being of the children. To stay on target, you will need to set aside your differences and keep your child at the center of your decisions and actions rather than at the center of any resentment, conflict or bitterness. If you can manage this the outcome will pay back with dividends.
- Watching parents communicate and cooperate respectfully teaches children good social skills that they can use for the rest of their lives.
- The children have much better relationships with both parents and benefit from natural bonds and behavioral modeling.
- Parents participate more in their children’s lives and experience less loss.
- The family remains an arena of safety and comfort, instead of stress, allowing the children to grow and explore the world with more confidence.
- Children learn organizational skills when there are living across two homes. This translates into valuable life skills they take into other parts of their lives.
- Children learn to resolve disagreements in a courteous and effective manner, a skill that will serve them well as adults.
- Children learn what to do when two people think that they are “right” and how to compromise.
With co-parenting, traditional parenting roles tend to get thrown aside or at the very least they’re combined as a mom is challenged to take on dad roles and vice versa. In the best scenario, co-parents are pressed to support and mutually enhance each other’s efforts for the child’s benefit.
Children have a tremendous amount to gain from your co-parenting efforts. Make a co-parenting plan. Communicate often and clearly. Set aside your differences and keep it business ‘friendly’. When issues arise, keep the kids out of it and consider help from a professional to work through them. Our app has great features to keep the whole family on track. We provide on-demand issue resolution from live coParenter professionals who are trained and certified in their respective fields.
- Blodgett, C., & Lanigan, J. D. (2018). The association between adverse childhood experiences (ACE) and school success in elementary school children. School Psychology Quarterly, 33(1), 137-146.