Questionnaires and Exercises
SEPARATING YOUR RELATIONSHIP AS PARENTS FROM YOUR RELATIONSHIP AS SPOUSES
When a you have been hurt or betrayed by a trusted partner, it can color the way you see their parental qualities. The following questionnaire is designed to help you have more objectivity about your spouse's parenting abilities and help you separate your business as parents from your disappointment in each other as spouses. It is important to put your anger aside to do this exercise. To be successful parents after divorce, you need to be able to keep at the forefront what the children value about their other parent and not confuse your disapointments in your mate with the children's feelings about their other parent.
1. List your partner's strengths as a parent.
2. List your partner's shortcomings as a parent.
3. List your strengths as a parent.
4. List your shortcomings as a parent.
5. List your partner's good qualities as a mate.
6. List your partner's weaknesses or your disappointments in him or her as a mate.
7. List your good qualities as a mate.
8. List your partner's disappointments in you as a mate.
9. What is important to your spouse about being a parent?
10. What is important to you about being a parent?
11. What do the children value most about the other parent.
PARENTING PRIORITY REVIEW
Divorce can change the way you carry out parental duties dramatically. Your time with the children will be your own and will not be influenced by the presence of your spouse. You will not be with your children as much or have control over what occurs in the other parent's household. It is a good time to take stock and re-examine your own goals and priorities as a parent. By concentrating on the time and opportunities you do have with them, rather than what you have lost, you can strengthen the quality and closeness of your relationship with your children.
1. What are your priorities as a parent.
2. What do you believe are the most important qualities in a parent-child relationship? How can you maximize these aspects of your relationship with the children given the divorce?
3. What basic values do you want to impart to your children? How can and do you convey your values?
4. What do your want to change about yourself as a parent? What would you like to improve about your relationship with any of your children. How can you implement these improvements?
5. What do you want to give your children that you did not receive from your parents?
6. What do your children need to help them adjust well to the separation or divorce?
7. If your parents were divorced when you were a child, how is your children's experience of this divorce different from your own? How can you help them in ways that you weren't helped?
8. When your children are adults and look back on the divorce? How do you want them to remember your handling of the divorce?