When you are guiding a couple or an individual in coping with a separation or a divorce, the focus must remain on what's best for the children.
Because ... the parents' behavior becomes their child's legacy as each parent is individually modeling and teaching their children about coping, conflicts and communication.
Your role is to give your client(s) a safe place to talk and learn about themselves, expand their self-awareness and oftentimes, increase their communication skills.
It’s important for you to help them make a conscious decision to shift their thinking about their ex-husband or ex-wife, for the sake of their children.
This is a common challenge for many families.
They need to change THEIR perspective from seeing their ex-spouse as “the enemy”, to a sincere desire to get along better, simply because of the role he/she plays in the children’s lives.
This new way of thinking will influence how they interact with and relate to their ex-spouse. It will also decrease the stress level in their own life.
When they take control of who they want to be in their relationship with their ex-husband or ex-wife, they will probably also feel less vulnerable. Feelings of being overwhelmed and trapped, which are common in these situations, can be greatly reduced.
This new perspective helps individuals to take their power back. Since they can only control themselves, their reactions and how they respond, they are now putting themselves back in the driver's seat and they are no longer a passenger in their own life.
Then, regardless of how their ex-husband or ex-wife continues to interact with them, they must try to stay focused on what’s important: the well-being of their children and keeping their life less burdened. When they refuse to argue, but instead remain calm and respectful, they are changing the direction of that one interaction.
These positive interactions can then build on each other and grow.
Consider using the Relationship Protocol model to give your clients the language they need to be more thoughtful, to reduce escalations, and to defuse conflicts in challenging relationships.