Divorce can be devastating for children. It can be even more detrimental if the parents have not learned how to interact with each other and their children in a healthy and constructive way. Now, a new program is being offered in Yuma County called “New Beginnings.” This program is designed to “teach mothers and fathers how to maintain healthy family relationships.”
New Beginnings, which is a partnership between Arizona State University and a grant from the National Institute of Health and the Yuma County Superior Court will be used to provide resources to help children adapt to a divorce. Within New Beginnings, parents will be given information and steps to help them identify the type of parenting their children need during and after the divorce. Specifically, New Beginnings will offer “positive parenting skills to both the mother and father to help build and maintain healthy family relationships even though the family is no longer together.”
New Beginnings reduces stress on parents during the divorce
It’s not just the children who are under a lot of pressure during a divorce. Parents can also have many stresses, including trying to find work, if one spouse was unemployed, splitting child-care duties and dividing assets. New Beginnings allows parents a specific time to concentrate on healthy parenting.
What is discussed at New Beginnings? It’s a myriad of topics but the main focus includes:
- Improving communication skills
- Enforcing effective discipline
- Eliminating inter-parental conflict
- Having fun with the family
The coordinators of New Beginnings note that nothing they teach is out of the ordinary, but the class does provide information that all parents should be doing, but may have forgotten or simply need extra encouragement to continue during this stressful time.
New Beginnings organizers have seen some success. In fact, one organizer noted that they have had positive feedback from program participants. In fact, according to reports, parents who have participated in New Beginnings have had “fewer behavior problems in their children, the children were less likely to use drugs or alcohol, got higher grades, and had higher self-esteem, compared to children whose parents did not take part in the program.”
Is it New Beginnings or the parents?
It’s hard to say for sure if it’s the class or the type of parents who would be willing to take the class that have provided the most benefits. Regardless, we can all agree that parents are critical to the success of parenting during a divorce. With or without the class, parents need to continue to provide stability to their children and make sure their children know they have two dedicated parents who are providing a solid home environment.
Parents who would like to participate in New Beginnings can do so by contacting the program’s administrators at (855) 531-0851 or by going to the program’s website at nbpdivorce.org. They must also have been through a divorce in the past two years and have children ages 3 through 18.
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