Preparing Your Kids for the Transition to Divorce with Dr. Jeff Zimmerman

EP: 121

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.

Topics Covered

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

Dr. Zimmerman’s Website

Books by Dr. Zimmerman

Call (914) 595-4040

Connect with Katherine Miller

The Center for Understanding Conflict

Miller Law Group

Katherine on LinkedIn

The New Yorker’s Guide to Collaborative Divorce by Katherine Miller

Email katherine@westchesterfamilylaw.com

Call (914) 738-7765

Resources

Adult Children of Divorce: How to Overcome the Legacy of Your Parents’ Break-up and Enjoy Love, Trust, and Intimacy by Elizabeth Thayer and Jeffrey Zimmerman

The Co-Parenting Survival Guide: Letting Go of Conflict After a Difficult Divorce by Elizabeth Thayer and Jeffrey Zimmerman

Loving Your Children More Than You Hate Each Other: Powerful Tools for Navigating a High-Conflict Divorce by Lauren J. Behrman and Jeffrey Zimmerman