Dr. Jeff Zimmerman
Preparing Your Kids for the Transition to Divorce
Conventional wisdom tells us that divorce has a negative influence on children. And yet, the research reveals that it’s the level of parental conflict that has the greatest adverse impact on kids—whether their parents stay married or not. So, how can we work WITH our ex to make the transition a little easier on our children? What can we do to step up and be parents for our kids when they need us most?
Dr. Jeffrey Zimmerman is a licensed psychologist with more than 35 years of experience supporting individuals and families through the stress of separation and divorce. Dr. Zimmerman is trained as a mediator, parenting coordinator, and collaborative divorce professional, and he earned the Connecticut Psychological Association’s Distinguished Contribution to the Practice of Psychology Award for his work with high-conflict families of divorce. Dr. Zimmerman is also the coauthor of Adult Children of Divorce, The Co-Parenting Survival Guide, and Loving Your Children More Than You Hate Each Other.
On this episode of the podcast, Dr. Zimmerman joins Katherine to explain what parents can do to prepare their kids for divorce and explain the situation in an age-appropriate manner. He discusses the research around parental conflict as the greatest negative influence on kids, walking us through what parental conflict can look like and what parents can do to engage in cooperative coparenting. Listen in for Dr. Zimmerman’s insight on sharing your emotions with your children and learn how to separate your role as a spouse from your role as a parent to make the transition to divorce easier on your kids.
Explaining divorce to your children in an age-appropriate manner
How divorce impacts the development of very young children
The research around parental conflict as the greatest negative influence on kids
What parental conflict looks like (e.g.: badmouthing, sarcasm, outright hostility, etc.)
What parents can do to engage in cooperative coparenting
Why teens and adult children have complicated reactions to divorce
Dr. Zimmerman’s advice on telling very young children about divorce
- Small doses of info in terms they understand
- Reassurance more important than schedule
Dr. Zimmerman’s insight on sharing your emotions with your children
Separating your role as a spouse from your role as a parent
Making the transition to divorce easier for kids through nesting
Connect with Dr. Jeff Zimmerman
Call (914) 595-4040
Connect with Katherine Miller
The New Yorker’s Guide to Collaborative Divorce by Katherine Miller
Call (914) 738-7765