Divorce is a reality for many Americans each year, and those couples that have children may be wondering what to expect from an online co-parenting class for divorcing parents. This is something that a court may require if you have children, and knowing what to expect from a co-parenting class will help divorcing parents make the most of the process, and help their children by extension.

What Is an Online Co-Parenting Class for Divorcing Parents?

The goal of a co-parenting class for divorcing parents is to help their children and family deal with the hard realities of the dissolution of a marriage in a healthy way. An online co-parenting class for divorcing parents allows individuals to learn and acquire important information in a virtual format.

At its heart, this type of course is designed to help minimize the negative impact of a divorce on children. Divorce can be an emotionally-charged and painful season for all members of the family. When parents teach their children how to process a divorce in a healthy manner, it empowers children and adolescents to navigate difficult circumstances without sacrificing their health or happiness.

Some of the most commonly addressed topics in these classes include:

  • How to tell your children you are getting a divorce
  • What age-appropriate reactions your children may have to the news
  • When professional help is needed
  • How to handle conversations regarding your soon to be ex-spouse
  • How to share the responsibilities of parenting
  • Making sure that neither spouse criticizes the other in talking with their children
  • How to help your children process the divorce both now and in the future
  • What you can do to show your children they are still loved and cared for

What to Expect from An Online Co-Parenting Class for Divorcing Parents

When it comes to what to expect from an online co-parenting class for divorcing parents, there are two areas in which spouses should conduct research before signing up:

  1. Course regulations
  2. Course subject matter

In terms of course regulations there are several considerations parents must keep in mind for the class to be a success for their family and for meeting court requirements:

  • Ensure the online class meets court requirements. It is critical that you and your spouse ensure that the class does in fact meet the county and state requirements as well as proper curriculum standards for parent education. A course that does not meet the standards set forth by the court may not be honored, in which case the parents may be required to take an additional course that is approved and acceptable.
  • Verify there is a certificate of completion. For the court to accept the course, it will need to provide a valid certificate of completion. The course should stop periodically throughout the various modules and prompt the participant to answer questions. This typically enhances participation and is required before the user can proceed to the next module. Once the course has been completed, a certificate of completion should be awarded to the user.

In addition to meeting course regulations set forth by the court, the online co-parenting class for divorcing parents should cover appropriate subject matter with the overarching goal of showing parents how to give their children unconditional love and boost their self-esteem during this difficult time.

Some of the topics parents can expect to have covered in the online class should include:

  1. The cultural implications of divorce
  2. The effects of divorce on children
  3. Providing unconditional love to your children
  4. Parenting skills for minimizing the damaging effects of divorce on children

Since these topics can be broad in nature, here is a synopsis of these four topics, describing what lessons parents can expect to learn.

Cultural Implications of Divorce

Divorce has become increasingly common in recent years, with a staggering one out of every two marriages in the United States ending in divorce. An estimated two-thirds of spouses that get divorced also have minor children.

Whereas adults have the power and self-sufficiency to make a decision regarding their marriage, and therefore the family’s future, children do not. This can leave children feeling powerless about the changes happening around them and leave them wondering about the stability of their future.

Modules regarding the cultural implications of divorce will cover some of the most common ramifications of divorce on children, parents, and the entire family unit.

Effects of Divorce on Children

The effects of divorce on children can be significant and long-lasting if parents do not learn to take the right approach in helping their children process the situation in a healthy way. It is crucial that children have a caring and competent parent(s) help them navigate the situation to enable them to come out of the divorce without being negatively impacted.

These learning modules should highlight the problems and difficulties children can face both during their parents’ divorce and for years after with an emphasis on how parents can help their children overcome these challenges and have a brighter emotional outlook.

Providing Unconditional Love to Your Children

Groundbreaking research shows that the most critical component of building a child’s self-esteem is the parent giving their child unconditional love. Without positive self-esteem, a child of separated parents may blame themselves for the divorce and become increasingly unhappy and depressed.

Also, children with low self-esteem, and who do not feel good about themselves, are more likely to succumb to peer pressure in hopes of becoming approved and accepted by others. Youngsters who follow this path may become involved in dangerous activities such as drug use and promiscuous sexual activity.

Modules on this topic will help divorced parents learn and employ key strategies for practicing unconditional love towards their children in order to create high self-esteem and a positive self-concept in their children.

Parenting Skills

Parenting can become more challenging amidst and after a divorce for both the parent and child. To help empower families for success amidst heartache, modules on this topic should provide parents with evidence-based parenting principles designed to help divorced parents ease the transition for their children.

In these modules, parents can learn more about:

  • Providing structure for their children
  • Effectively communicating with an ex-spouse
  • Actively listening to their children
  • The importance of not making children “take sides”

With a better idea of what to expect from an online co-parenting class for divorcing parents, individuals can have more peace of mind about the weeks and months ahead. They are also provided access to critical information and practices to help their family cope and thrive through the divorce process.

Dr G

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