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The Unexpected Benefits of Divorce on Parent-Child Relationships

Posted by J. Benjamin Stevens | Jul 17, 2011 | 0 Comments

Jonathan Weiler and Anne J. Menkens, a divorced couple, recently published an article, "The (Sometimes) Surprising Benefits of Divorce for Parent-Child Relationships," at The Huffington Post, which discussed some of the changes they experienced in their relationships with their daughter after they got divorced. Some of these changes were unexpected, surprising and even positive, as summarized below:

  • You can get a break from parenting. In two-parent households, parents are "on" all the time. In a shared custody situation, each parent gets some time alone, away from the kids. While you may feel sad that you are missing time from your child's life, it can also be rejuvenating.
  • In shared custody situations, each parent will (ideally) need to parent more. If one parent used to leave all the parenting activities to the other parent, that is going to change. While it might be a difficult adjustment initially, children typically benefit from the increased interaction with each parent as an individual.
  • With increased distance from the past conflicts you had with your former spouse, you may now be able to see the things he or she is doing well as a parent to your child. You may develop an honest appreciation for the other person's efforts and your child will see that.
  • You can each engage your child in unique ways – one may like sports, the other museums. One may share movie nights and the other game nights. All of this adds variety to your child's life, bringing a fullness and richness that you may not have been able to provide on your own.

If you have the time, take a moment to click over to their much longer and more comprehensivearticle. I suspect that many other parents would share similar observations to those that this couple has expressed so well.

Source: "Unexpected Benefits of Divorce on Parent-Child Relationships" by Scott David Stewart, published at his Phoenix Family Law Blog.

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J. Benjamin Stevens

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