Chattanooga State Community College has been providing a workshop for divorcing parents with minor children since Oct. 29, 2015. These classes were started with a collaboration of Dr. Kim McCormick, Larry Henry, and Parenting Coordinator Babs Ragsdale with Hamilton County.
This monthly seminar is designed to teach parents how to shield their children from parental conflict, minimize the damage of negative parental behaviors and establish a positive, long-term relationship as “co-parents.”
Since the courses began at Chattanooga State it has served 117 families and given them the tools and resources they need to minimize the damage of divorce, said officials.
Cynthia Brooks leads the Crossroads of Parenting & Divorce workshops at the Chattanooga campus. “I’m excited to be able to offer this seminar,” said Ms. Brooks. “It will help divorcing parents to understand the impact of their behaviors. It will show them that they have the power to minimize the damage of divorce on their child. Most of all, it will teach them that it is not the divorce itself that will harm their child; it is the choices and the behaviors they make that will make the difference between a child who thrives and a child who bears scars of divorce for years to come.”
Crossroads of Parenting & Divorce is a four-hour psycho-educational seminar that combines video, activities, demonstration, role-play, small group discussion, and other proven techniques to help parents refocus their attention on their children, not on each other. Ms. Brooks will guide parents through a five-step model designed to prevent divorce abuse.
Authors of the Crossroads of Parenting & Divorce seminar Susan Boyan and Ann Marie Termini are family therapists who were inspired to create this video-and-discussion seminar after observing the harmful effects of parental behaviors on children during divorce. Rather than attempt to “fix” the children, Ms. Boyan and Ms. Termini decided to go to the source of the problem: quarreling parents.
"When people are in love, they see only the positive traits of the other person,” says Ms. Boyan. “Then, when they are no longer in love, the opposite often happens, and they no longer see any good in the other person. It becomes all or nothing.”
Unfortunately for the children, who still love both parents, a great deal of psychological damage can occur during this time if the parents behave badly in front of them. What is the good news? Parents have the power to change their behavior and have a positive influence on their children rather than damaging them, said officials.
The class is held monthly on Thursday afternoons at Chattanooga State Community College for $35 per person. For more information about Crossroads of Parenting & Divorce: 5 Steps to Prevent Divorce Abuse seminars, or to register, please call 697-3100.