New Study Reveals That Most Important Factor for Parent-Child Relationship after Divorce Is Communication Frequency
As divorce attorneys, one of the number one concerns we hear from our clients is what effect the divorce is going to have on their children. Fortunately, a new study shows that things can be significantly better—especially for teens—if they are able to communicate with their parents via available technology such as FaceTime and texting after divorce. These popular communication methods may help build and maintain supportive relationships with parents and their kids.
The study focused on children between the ages of 10 and 18 and ultimately found that factors such as discipline and parental knowledge and warmth did not have as much of an effect on the relationship between parent and child as did the frequency of communication. The more the communication the children had with their parents, the better the relationship was, regardless of whether their parents got along or not.
Findings Contradict Earlier Theories That Parents Getting Along Was Essential
The findings of this new study direct contradict an earlier study from 2008, which suggests that it is essential for parents to be cooperative with each other in order to help maintain a child’s resiliency through divorce—a theory known as the “Family Systems Theory.” This previous theory revolved around the basis that the post-divorce relationship between parents spills over into the parent-child relationship.
Potential Explanation of the Results
Researchers hypothesize that it is the ability for the child to be able to reach out and engage in that communication—thus having control over the relationship—that allows the relationship to then flourish and build that healthy relationship with the parent. In other words, they have the agency to take more ownership of the relationship.
What Else Researchers Found
According to the associate professor and director of the research department behind the study,
- Youth with parents who are warm and supportive tend to experience less emotional distress and engage in fewer problem behaviors;
- Parents who have more knowledge of their children’s daily lives can better respond to the children’s needs and create a positive environment for them; and
- Inconsistent discipline can lead to anxiety and aggression in children.
In other words, what matters is strengthening the relationship between the parent and child, not necessarily stressing cooperative parenting.
Contact Our Florida Family Law Attorneys to Find Out More
Our experienced in Florida divorce and family law enables us to provide the very best to parents who are going through divorce and want to make things as painless as possible on their children. We can not only help you through divorce, but in formulating a parenting plan that works and meets your needs. Contact us today at Trachman & Ballot-Lena, P.A. to find out more.