Moms and Dads, if you could learn how to protect your kids from divorce-related emotional damage, reinvent your co-parenting relationship, and save thousands of dollars in the process, would you be interested?
I’m inviting you to invest in your kids and give them the greatest gift—a lifetime of happiness and thriving, free from the emotional trauma that an ugly divorce can cause.
Let me tell you how that is possible. The PROTECT System is a 7-step system that shows you how to take control of yourself, rise above your painful emotions, set new expectations for your relationship with your (ex)spouse, and build the foundation for a healthy post-divorce life for you and your kids.
The PROTECT System focuses on the three major relationships in your life:
- Your relationship with yourself
- Your relationship with your (ex)spouse
- Your relationship with your children
It will arm you with the solutions and tools that will allow you to take control of the divorce, rather than the divorce controlling you.
Step I. Proclaim Your Power and Responsibility
You alone have the ability and the duty to protect your children from divorce-related damage. If you don’t take the lead and make the necessary changes to create a healthy future for your kids, it is possible that no one else will. The worst thing you can do is wait around for your (ex)spouse to change their behavior and give up hope of your kids emerging from your divorce without emotional damage.
Step 2: Rise Above Your Painful Emotions
While painful feelings are an entirely normal part of any divorce, if not effectively dealt with, they have the potential to derail not only the divorce process but also your children’s lives. You must take the necessary steps to work through these emotions and rise above them for the sake of your children. This is one of the most challenging aspects of divorce for most parents, but also one of the most important when it comes to protecting children
Step 3: Overhaul Your Co-Parenting Relationship
Your relationship with your (ex)spouse is the most complicated relationship you will have in your life. Many divorcing parents struggle with what this relationship should look like. You do not need to be best friends to be the best co-parents for your children. You must view your relationship with your ex as a business partnership in the joint venture of raising your children. Treat each other with the level of respect and courtesy that you would treat a co-worker that you do not particularly like. Buying into this new framework together or alone could be one of the greatest gifts you will ever give your children.
Step 4: Transform Your Parenting
Your children have unassailable rights in the divorce process that should not be violated. The Bill of Rights for Children of Divorce contains 15 essential behaviors that parents must refrain from to protect their children’s mental health. Even one parent committing to these principles will be a powerful shield for your children during the divorce process and beyond.
Step 5: Engage the Court System Strategically, Not Emotionally
Going to court costs more than you think, both financially and emotionally. It will drain your bank account and destroy any possibility of a healthy, collaborative co-parenting relationship with your (ex)spouse. By resolving as many matters out of court as possible, you will save tens of thousands of dollars and save your children the pain of being dragged into the middle of your conflict. The very last thing you want for your kids, your wallet, or your stress level is to be going to court to resolve every issue, whether large or small.
Step 6: Create Strategic Coping Mechanisms for Your Kids
Divorce is incredibly difficult for children, even if you do everything right. It is crucial to understand the developmental factors in play for your child given his or her age and to craft creative coping strategies that get to the core of their struggles. This is not the time to rely on guesswork and assumptions. Knowing when, why, and how to seek out further help could be the difference between a healthy child and one with significant emotional damage.
Step 7: Thrive in the New Normal
The more fully you and your children can accept the new circumstances, the quicker your family will begin to thrive. Divorce is a time of intense change, upheaval, and uncertainty. Your ability to grieve the loss of how things were and embrace this new reality, and get your children to do the same, will play a significant role in helping you all to move forward. You have the potential to not only heal, but to create a new normal for your children that is healthier, happier, and more peaceful.
If you’re serious about getting to a healthy post-divorce where your kids are protected from emotional pain, your relationship with your former spouse is redefined and more amicable, and you are saving thousands of dollars on legal fees and therapy bills, this 7-Step PROTECT System will provide you with a useful framework for reaching those three important goals.
Dr. Erica Ellis is a licensed psychologist, Collaborative Divorce Facilitator, best-selling author, and a leading expert on child-centered divorce. She has devoted her professional career to not only helping children heal from that damage but, more important, teaching parents exactly how to prevent that damage from happening in the first place. www.childcentereddivorcejourney.com