One Bridge to Peace brings hope to families trapped in conflict.
Our workshops specifically debunk the notion that it takes two willing adults to create an environment of peace and safety for children whose family is in conflict. While the methodology and practical tips seem simple, they are not easy and in fact are highly counter-emotional. One Bridge to Peace requires one parent accept and adhere to a philosophy, a set of principles, & specific behaviors that will eventually disarm and re-engage even the most bitter and contentious parent.
One Bridge to Peace simply requires one willing adult - one caring adult who is willing to put aside anger, resentment and pride to create a peaceful and safe life for the children in their lives.
Key Truth #1: Parental Conflict Hurts Children.
Divorce & parental conflict damage and sometimes even collapse the health and well-being of our children. Family conflict, especially parental conflict, whether during the marriage, during the divorce and especially continuing after the divorce, destroys our children. Open conflict is only part of the problem. Even if the parents think the conflict is discrete or subtle, children can sense it. As parents it is essential that we do everything we can do to reduce and even eliminate harmful conflict as well as lingering acrimony.
Key Truth #2: Children Must Remain Connected to Both Parents.
Children want and generally need to stay connected to both parents. Even if the parent-child connection is only limited to supervised parenting time, the child has to transition from one parent to another. In a typical parenting time arrangement a child is going to transition between parental homes at least two - three times each week. As divorcing or divorced parents we often leave our children to navigate on their own the emotional minefield that is between their parents and their parental homes. We also sometimes get so caught up in our anger at the other party that we lose sight of the fact that the other party is also our child's parent. As responsible parents we need to pay attention to what we can do to improve the parent-child transitions as well as parent-child connections.
Key Truth #3: We Can Only Change Ourselves.
We can only improve what we have direct control over and that means we have to accept the fact that we have NO CONTROL over what the other parent says or does. We can only change and control what we ourselves do. That is the only real power we have as individuals. By changing ourselves - even if it seems we are "right" and the other party is "wrong" - we ultimately change the way that the other party interacts with us. Choosing specific behaviors disarms people who seem to want to stay in conflict and leads to an environment of civility first, followed by true peace.
Key Truth #4: The Right Thing (for our kids) Often Seems Unfair (to us).
While it "takes two to tango," it only takes one parent to minimize or even eliminate conflict. Taking the steps to end conflict seems counter-intuitive. It doesn't seem "fair" to apologize or continue to reach out peacefully to someone who has hurt us in the past - and continues to hurt us on a daily basis. In fact, it isn't fair. But it is a necessary sacrifice to protect children from damamge caused by divorce conflict. Fortunately, in the end, eliminating conflict, as well as acrimony, pays rewards for the adults involved as well - eliminating conflict is foundational to moving on after a divorce.
Additional Note: We have also found that the One Bridge to Peace model can be used to reduce conflict in every situation - marriage, work, community, neighborhoods, as well as divorced or divorcing families. Conflict tears away at the very fabric of our lives - attend a One Bridge to Peace workshop and start building One Bridge to Peace in your own life and the lives of the children you care about deeply.