It is important to do whatever it takes to shelter children from the conflict of divorce. Put aside resentments to make room for cooperation and focus on a brighter future, according to Charlie and Barb Asher, creators of the website www.uptoparents.org. Charlie, a former trial lawyer and his wife, Barb a former social worker and counselor, have turned the insights of their past careers into a family charity aimed at helping parents protect their children.
“Judges’ decisions don’t solve a family’s problems; in fact, resorting to court almost always leaves parents, children and families more fractured.” This statement is one of the nine truths contradicting the myths of divorce found on the website which is dedicated to reminding parents how focusing on their children’s needs’ can help everyone in the family.
“If you are in conflict your children are in danger,” the Ashers warn. “And only you, their parents can protect them from that danger.”
Here are just twelve of the many insightful comments that the Ashers have put on the web:
- Children of divorce experience any attack between their parents as an attack on them.
- Always remember this is your child’s one and only childhood.
- The only job of children is to be children. And they cannot be children unless their parents act like adults.
- Few things are as important to the children of divorce as is their parent’s interaction.
- Recognize that children have no defense against their parents’ anger toward each other.
- If parents are in conflict, their children are in danger, and only the parents can protect them from that danger.
- Parents in conflict have 10,000 minutes each week to sort out their differences when the children are not present. There is no excuse for arguing in front of them during the three or four minutes each week when everyone is together.
- Think of the times when the children are in the presence of you and the other parent as the children’s time. These little scraps of time can say so much to the children about how safe their world is.
- Challenge yourself to think of ways you can make visitation pick-ups and drop-offs more tranquil.
- On visitation pick-ups and drop-offs, make it a point to say a few pleasant words and give a smile to the children and to the other parent.
- Have the parent who is getting the parenting time pick-up the children, rather than having the parent who is turning over the parenting time drop-off the children.
- Few things are as hurtful to a child as expecting a parent to be there for visitation—and then being disappointed.
For more about what Charlie and Barb Asher are doing to help children during parental conflict, see their three websites: www.UpToParents.org, www.WhileWeHeal.org, and www.ProudToParent.org (for never-married parents).