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How communication technology can be helpful to divorced parents

Rhode Island residents are probably aware that communication technology is playing an increasingly large role in all aspects of people's lives. When it comes to divorce, it is changing the way divorced parents are communicating. This can be lead to more positive communication or negative manipulation depending upon how it's used.

Separated and divorced couples are increasingly using emails, texting and social media to communicate with their ex-partners about their children. Communicating through the use of technology, such as texting, emailing and social media may be used by divorced parent's to keep in communication with each other about the children's activities and to maintain a healthy environment for their children. However, when ex-spouses use that technology to withhold or manipulate information, the children are the ones who suffer most, according to a University of Missouri family studies expert.

A recent study conducted by a professor of human development and family studies at a state university found that divorced couples who get along and who are cooperative used emails and texting to facilitate effective co-parenting. The same study found, however, that couples who did not get along to begin with used communication technology to manipulate, to control the ex-partners access to the children and to avoid confrontation.

The well-being of the children is one of the primary concerns for divorcing parents. The use of technology can help to foster this well-being or it can cause emotional stress for the children. An example of negative use of technological communication would be parents pretending that they never received emails or messages from the other parent.

Parents can help to foster their children's well-being by learning how to communicate effectively with an ex-spouse. Parents who are hostile should set their feelings aside and help their children to make a smooth transition. Technology can be a great resource for divorced parents if they are able to use it to keep the other parent informed. In addition, it can provide a record of what parents discuss.

Source: Medical Xpress, "Divorced parents in hostile relationships use technology to sabotage communication, study finds," Aug. 27, 2012

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