Introduction: Children need and deserve a relationship with each parent, even when the parents are separated or divorced. When parents continue the conflict during a separation or after a divorce, it’s very difficult for children. Research now shows that children suffer psychological and developmental effects when their parents engage in poor co-parenting, continued parental conflict, and alienating behaviors, and these negative effects can extend beyond childhood into these children’s own adulthood.
Some of the negative psychological effects to children who live between high conflict parents include: increased aggression, anxiety, sleep disorders, behavioral problems, truancy, problems with authority, drug abuse, promiscuity, social alienation, delinquency, and school failure. When adolescents internalize their emotional pain, suicidal ideation increases, as well as internal angst and grief. Moreover, 20-25% of now-adults who experienced high conflict divorce as children had significantly more psychological problems as adults than their counterparts who grew up in intact families (10% of these adults had psychological disorders).
We believe that the majority of parents want to do the right thing for their children in separation and divorce situations, but many times they don’t know what to do or they get caught in the posturing and adversarial legal system process often required in order to win their case.
Resetting the Family will help your family create a new family model by using both a series of intensive educational programs, as well as a case management approach to help the family benefit from all of the educational programs.
Swerve 101 Parent Education Program: In this intensive two-hour educational curriculum, parents are taught through multi-media methods, active discussion, and course activities the negative effects of poor co-parenting and continued parental conflict on the child’s development, including brain development, emotional development, social development, and psychological development. The course is very dynamic and by the end, you will have 1) a much greater understanding of what chronic parental conflict is doing to your child’s overall development and 2) a new set of basic parenting skills that will help you navigate the changes brought by separation and divorce such that your child doesn’t suffer the short and long-term consequences of parents who can’t get along.
Swerve 201 Parent Education Program: In this intensive six-hour total educational curriculum, we focus on how both parents have important roles related to the overall healthy psychological development of a child. We help parents understand that instead of using the adversarial legal system and strangers to make critical decisions about complex family relationship issues, parents need to learn basic post-divorce parenting tools and skills to solve their own complex family relationship problems. To do this, we focus on essential parenting skills such as communication, conflict resolution, co vs. parallel parenting, and triggers for anger. We also help parents find value in the other parent, as well as learn how to devote some time to their own self-care, which often falls by the wayside in high conflict families. Lastly, we devote time to helping parents examine, define, and begin to create a new family model post separation and divorce.
Swerve Kids: In this six-hour total intensive educational program for children, generally aged 9-14, we help teach the child who has been negatively impacted by chronic parent conflict the important perceptual skills, thinking skills, and problem-solving skills that are beneficial in helping the child navigate a high conflict and negative home environment. We also help the child learn basic coping skills to deal with the stress and angst created by high conflict parents, as well as basic skills necessary to resist being significantly influenced by future strife between parents.
Case Management: Critical to the success of the educational programs, is case management because as parents learn and master new parenting skills and relationships recover and improve, Resetting the Family stays involved to increase the likelihood of a family successfully creating a new family model. In case management, Resetting the Family helps the family apply what they learned in both Swerve 101 and Swerve 201 in order to improve communication, essential parenting skills, and problem-solving skills, instead of allowing the legal system to solve complex family problems. And Resetting the Family focuses on improving dysfunctional parent-parent and parent-child relationships as part of creating a new family model.
When appropriate, Resetting the Family will seek to involve extended family members, as well as include relevant information from collateral sources, such as teachers, outside mental health professionals, and medical providers when necessary to help the family move forward and make progress.
Note: Resetting the Family does not guarantee that every family will benefit from the educational programs or the case management approach. Resetting the Family is not appropriate for families if severe parental alienation has been determined.