Tag: Divorce

5 Things To Do To Be A Great Parent After Divorce

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Parenting children in a perfect way after divorce.

Parenting is a big project and can be challenging under any circumstances; after divorce, however, it can become even more complex due to the new dynamics between family members.  Most parents want to ensure their children continue to thrive, socially, emotionally and academically at all times. To help with this process, we have compiled some useful techniques to ease the transition and help to create new working relationships between divorced couples.

Communicate with respect

When speaking to your ex-partner, it is crucial to keep it positive. This is especially important when emotions are high, and you don’t feel in control; take a break and implement some relaxation strategies to help you cope better and to think and speak rationally. For example, take deep breaths or leave the room and visualise a scene, place or situations that you consider safe, restful and happy. While living arrangements may have changed, it is essential that you continue to interact positively with your ex-partner to successfully co-parent your children. Studies have shown that parents who remained calm and communicate in a respectful manner with their former partner were able to improve their relationship as a result (Markham, 2015). In an article from the Child Study Center (NYU School of Medicine) it states that parents can have robust disagreements about a variety of topics in front of their children without necessarily causing stress and anxiety. The key here is for parents to do so in a way that shows their kids that conflict can be managed and even resolved with love and mutual respect. 

Agree on a consistent schedule

One reason communication between parents is so important is to increase consistency and stability for your children. Children require consistent rhythms in their life that do not change frequently (Pruett, 2014). This does not necessarily mean that the children must be cared for in a single environment; it merely requires consistency in each parent’s responsiveness from day to day. If children can keep regular daily schedules regardless of which house they are living, their internal clocks will remain in check. Regular schedules help to reduce behavioural problems, separation anxiety, regression, and other issues which are prevalent in children of divorced parents. From the age of 7 years, children can contribute to defining their options for schedules, so make sure to consult your child when changing their plans.

Maintain consistent discipline

Like with schedules, consistent discipline is necessary for children’s well-being. This is not confined to punishment; discipline includes chores, homework, manners, and attitude.  If there are fundamental disagreements about how to discipline your child, it is advisable to reach a compromise where possible. If it is not possible, maintain consistent discipline in your home (McMurray, 2008).

Stay in close contact, if possible

It is often in the best interests of your child for both parents to remain involved after the divorce (Kelly & Johnston, 2001). Certain accommodations will be necessary within the family dynamic to support the arrangement (McIntosh and Long, 2006). While shared custody is often an ideal, if the child lives with one parent, try to ensure that the child sees the other parent regularly.

Moving away is sometimes necessary for one parent. However, it is important to consider the consequences for their child. Relocating can create an imbalance in the parenting, and can create a more formal relationship with the parent who has relocated. Is it important to make it as easy as possible for the child to have a relationship with the parent who has relocated. For example, the child may benefit from having a mobile phone to contact the other parent without feeling as though their relationship is being mediated.

Manage your new relationship with your children

Divided loyalty is common but needs to be managed. Avoid making children choose sides. It is likely that your relationship with your child will change as a consequence of the divorce. You may choose to take a more proactive role during after-school sports; be more present in the school setting; or perhaps due to circumstances, have less time with your child after the divorce. During this new stage you may develop new routines and experiences to share with each other.

Try to keep activities inexpensive with a focus on quality time to avoid competing between parents and encouraging divided loyalties. Consider attending key events together, like graduations, concerts, school meetings. By role modelling positive relationships in the community, your child will feel safer and securely attached with both parents. During special events and celebrations, if spending them together is not an option, try to ensure your child is involved and informed about what decisions have been made. If your child it is not happy about the arrangements, acknowledge their feelings and try to encourage children to spend time with both parents.

Support network:


Kelly, J.G., & Johnston, J.R. (2001). The alienated child: A reformulation of parental alienation syndrome. Family Court Review, 39(3), 249-266.

Markham, M. S., Hartenstein, J. L., Mitchell, Y. T., & Aljayyousi-Khalil, G. (2015). Communication among parents who share physical custody after divorce or separation. Journal of Family Issues, 1-29. 10.1177/0192513X15616848

McIntosh, J E. and Long, C. M. (2006) Children Beyond Dispute: A prospective study of outcomes from child focused and child inclusive post-separation family dispute resolution. Final Report. Australian Government Attorney General’s Department. Canberra

McMurray, S. (2008, 08). Discipline after divorce. Today’s Parent, 25, 43-45. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/232888210?accountid=12528

Pruett, M. K., & DiFonzo, J. H. (2014). Closing the gap: Research, policy, practice, and shared parenting. Family Court Review, 52(2), 152-174.

Roffman, A (2016). The Art of Arguing: Tips for Handling Parental Conflict around Your Kids


Confidentiality in Separation and Divorce

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)


The Australian Psychological Society has recently produced the Guidelines for working with young people, to assist psychologists working in the complex area of child and adolescent mental health. The following questions and answers present the key legal and ethical considerations for psycholigsts working with young people and are based on extracts from these new guidelines.

Is the consent of both parents required before a psychologist can provide services to a child?

When a psychologist is engaged to provide a psychological service to a child, the consent and involvement of both parents is desirable, although not legally required. However, there are situations where obtaining the consent of both parents is not possible, or appropriate.

What about parental consent where the parents of the child are separated?

If a psychologist is aware that the parents of the child are separated, he or she may assume that the parent who organised the consultation has the legal authority to access a psychologist on behalf of the child. Even if there are existing Court Orders, the psychologist is not required to establish whether the decision to consult a psychologist has been made jointly by the parents.

If the presenting parent says that they do not wish the other parent to be involved, and the other parent reportedly opposes the decision for the child to see a psychologist, the psychologist should discuss this further with the presenting parent and child, and make a professional judgement about whether to provide services. In making that decision, the best interests of the child are most important.

Where parents are separated, what if the other parent seeks information from the psychologist about the services being provided to the child?

If the presenting parent and child have not given consent for disclosure of information to the other parent, then a psychologist must protect the confidentiality of the young person. This includes refraining from acknowledging if a psychological service has been provided at all. If the other parent does contact the psychologist for information, the presenting parent will be informed and encouraged to resolve the issues directly.

What are the limits to confidentiality when providing services to young people?

Psychologists must comply with any legal requirements to report child abuse and neglect. Psychologists must also disclose information in situations where failure to disclose information may result in clear risk to the young person or to others, in order to avert risk.

You can contact us for further information or to make an appointment.

Separation and Divorce workshop for children in Sydney.
In addition, we also run the ‘Doing the Splits’ workshop. Visit the workshop pages to make a booking:

– https://childpsychologist.com.au/workshop/doing-the-splits-sydney

Separation and Divorce workshop for children in Melbourne.

– https://childpsychologist.com.au/workshop/doing-the-splits-melbourne


New Boyfriend @ Essential Baby

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Kimberley discussed  the question of a single mother and her new boyfriend with Justine Davies from Essential baby forums.  You can find out more information about trust, separation and divorce, responsibility and adolescent parenting tips by visiting our resources page or discussing it on our forum.

Kimberley’s main recommendations were:

  • “If you don’t envisage this as being a long-term relationship, then there are no benefits to be gained in introducing your boyfriend into your children’s lives,” she says. “Ideally you want to have a solid relationship of at least six months, with long-term prospects, before you involve your kids. Otherwise you risk your daughters becoming attached to this person, only for him to disappear suddenly down the track. This could trigger again the grief and loss that they would have experienced when your relationship with their Dad broke down”
  • “The first time that children experience loss they will be hurting, but they will also be confused about what is happening. The second time though they won’t be confused because they have already experienced it and they know that they don’t like it. So the sense of grief can be even greater. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the loss of a father–figure; it could be a favourite uncle going overseas for a while, or a grandparent moving away. But introducing them to a short-term boyfriend is setting them up for grief for no good reason.”

The full interview is available on the Essential Baby Website.

If you have a story and would like to discuss it with us, please schedule a time. Kimberley O’Brien enjoys sharing the best of her therapeutic moments with the media.} else {

Divorce and Children @ Sunrise

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Kimberley discussed the impact of divorce on children with presenters of  from the Sunrise on Channel 7. You can find out more about the problems associated with separation and divorce  and strategies to better deal with it by visiting our resources page or discussing it on our forum.

The full interview is available below:

If you have a story and would like to discuss it with us, please schedule a time. Kimberley O’Brien enjoys sharing the best of her therapeutic moments
with the media.

Doing the Splits @ The Australian

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Kimberley discussed the Quirky Kid Divorce workshops, Doing the Splits,  with reporters at The Australian. You can find out more about holiday workshops on coping with divorce, dealing with anxiety and making friends by visiting our resources page or discussing it on our forum.

The full article is available on The Australian website.

You can find out more or book for the Doing The Splits here.

If you have a story and would like to discuss it with us, please schedule a time. Kimberley O’Brien enjoys sharing the best of her therapeutic moments with the media.