Family of Origin

An online program for divorced parents can improve parent-child relationships, as well as children’s anxiety and symptoms of depression

Key takeaways for parents

  • A brief, online program can help parents promote their children’s resilience pursuit separation and divorce.
  • Not all online programs for divorced and separated parents are the same. Vestige from research can help parents and practitioners identify online programs that work rather than ones that are just based on someone’s favorite approach.
  • Programs that requite parents simple, practical tools to strengthen parenting and reduce mismatch between the parents are most likely to reduce children’s policies problems.
  • The eNew Beginnings Program provides an inexpensive but constructive opportunity for magistrate professionals and mental health practitioners to help parents promote their children’s resilience pursuit separation and divorce.

An evidence-based online program for divorced and separated parents

Most divorced and separated parents are concerned well-nigh their children and ask themselves: “What can I do to protect my children from the problems that often follow divorce?” Although many online parenting-after-divorce programs offer advice, few are backed by solid research that show they unquestionably work.

However, recent research provides new scientific vestige that one online parenting-after-divorce program can provide parents with the help they seek. In the first rigorous evaluation of an online program, this study showed that a brief, online parenting intervention for divorced and separated parents reduced interparental conflict and children’s policies problems, and improved the quality of parent-child relationships and the effectiveness of parental discipline.

The online program, the eNew Beginnings Program (eNBP), was well-timed by researchers Sharlene A. Wolchik and Irwin Sandler from their in-person group program for parents that reduced the mental health problems, drug and swig use, and risky sexual policies of children from divorced families. The program moreover improved children’s self-esteem, grades, coping, and work competence. Several of the positive changes lasted up to 15 years without the program ended: When the offspring were young adults, they had lower rates of depression, substance use, and painful feelings well-nigh the divorce.

Despite the positive effects of the in-person program, few divorced parents could participate considering it was expensive for agencies to offer. Moreover, parents faced practical barriers, such as travel, making time in their rented schedules, and finding child care.

Practical tools for parenting without divorce

To make the program affordable, increasingly widely available, and easier for parents to use, Wolchik and Sandler well-timed the in-person program into an online version. The eNBP is affordable, and parents can take part on their own time and in the repletion of their own homes. They need only a smartphone, computer, or tablet. The eNBP is a five-hour (20 to 30 minutes per session over 10 weeks) online program that includes all the material in the in-person version. Separate versions of the program were ripened for divorced and separated fathers and for divorced and separated mothers.

The eNBP works by teaching parents practical tools to strengthen positive relationships with their children, create and use family rules that reduce the hassles often associated with discipline, and subtract the level of mismatch with the other parent (i.e., the ex-partner). The program teaches these tools in a step-by-step, highly interactive way.

For example, sessions uncork with a check-in when parents respond to questions well-nigh their use of the program tools and are provided with ways to write the challenges they experienced using them. This is followed by teaching a new tool using modeling videos, interactive exercises, and testimonials from prior participants.

The eNBP then prompts parents to set times to use the tool, identify barriers to using it, and select strategies to reduce these barriers. Parents receive downloadable tip sheets on how to write worldwide challenges in using the tools, sheets to record their use of the tools, and handbooks that summarize what was covered in the session.

Photo: Tatiana Syrikova. Pexels.

Positive impacts of the online program on parents and children

The effectiveness of the eNBP was evaluated using the gold standard of program evaluation, a randomized controlled trial. One hundred thirty-one parents were randomly given wangle to the program or prescribed to a waiting list. Parents were recruited from wideness the United States. Of the parents, 78% were non-Hispanic White, 8% were Hispanic, and 14% were of flipside race/ethnicity. Parents had various levels of education: 1% had less than GED or upper school diploma, 14% a GED or upper school diploma, 17% an socialize degree, 29% some higher or vocational training, and 39% a bachelor’s stratum or higher. Annual income ranged from $10,000 to $175,000 (median = $30,001–$40,000). Parents were on stereotype 41 years old; 60% were female. Children averaged 13 years old; 48% were female.

After completing the program, both parents and their children provided information well-nigh its effects. Parents and children reported that the program improved the quality of parent-child relationships, increased constructive discipline, and reduced symptoms of uneasiness and peepers in the children. Both parents and children moreover reported reduced mismatch between parents.

The program was equally constructive when used by mothers and fathers. The improvements noticed by the children increase conviction in the study’s findings considering the children did not take part in the program.

The improvements from the online program were as strong or stronger than those that resulted from the original in-person program, which has had remarkable effects in three randomized controlled trials. The program developers think this may be due to the upper level of interactivity of the online program and the ease of using it.

The rate of program completion was moreover higher for the online than for the in-person program. Among the parents who completed the first session, only 16% finished the in-person version (Sandler et al., 2020), whereas 60% finished the eNBP. Parents were very satisfied with the program. Most felt that it helped them and helped their relationships with their children. And increasingly than 80% of the parents said that family courts should recommend that divorcing or separating parents well-constructed the eNBP.

Who can use the online divorce program?

The program is misogynist in two formats, a 6-week program and a 10-week program. The same material is included in both formats; the 10-week program allows parents increasingly practice and provides them with increasingly feedback well-nigh the skills that are taught. The 6-week version is towardly for those who are taking part in the program to fulfill a parenting matriculation required by the court.

Family courts can use the eNBP in several ways. Family magistrate judges, mediators, and tribunal can use the program as a tool to protect the well-being of children whose parents wits upper mismatch or are having difficulty developing a parenting plan.

Mental health practitioners can use the program in their work with individual clients. Parents could well-constructed a session at home and then when meeting with the practitioner, the practitioner could write questions and help the parents solve any problems they had using the tools.

In summary, the eNBP is an constructive research-based resource for fathers and mothers who want to protect their children pursuit a divorce. It is easy to wangle and parents enjoy the program, as shown in these comments by parents who took part in the eNBP:

“It got me and my children closer to each other.”

“It was exactly what I needed.”

“There are several tools I used immediately that my kids are big fans of.”

Parents can directly wangle the program at

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