We provide Putnam County Court-ordered classes for families with children living in separate households through divorce or separation of parents.
MHAoPC provides three services to the families involved in these situations: One course for parents, one for school-aged children, and one-on-one counseling for teens.
The parents attend a co-parenting class which emphasizes cooperative, positive parenting and presents concrete tools and resources. The class covers techniques for keeping calm and minimizing stress as well as tips on how to communicate with your co-parent and your children. It also covers children’s developmental stages, and participants share, learn and interact with other participants to widen their parental skills.
Children aged 7 to 12 are supported through facilitator-led discussion and activities, plus materials for them to take home to help them with the transition. In this session the children view age-appropriate media involving family’s separation and divorce.
Teen aged children meet one-on-one with a trained counselor to ensure the transition is going as smoothly as possible and to help identify any critical emotional struggles. We emphasize to all parties that each parent is forever linked to the other parent, and so enable ways to navigate the complexities of a family whose parents live separately.
A story about our parents’ class: Parents don’t have to participate in the same class, so recently one parent attended one month and the other, the next month. We administer surveys to determine satisfaction and effectiveness of the course, and one of these parents approached the instructor after class, sharing that the other parent had taken the course the previous month and the difference was night and day: Arguments in front of the kids ceased, they were pleasant in talking to them about parenting details. It was a total shift from being very difficult to co-parent with to being a person with whom the other parent could talk and parent. What a great success story!