"Erasing Family" Documentary About Divorce: 5 Tips for Young Adults to Help Them Have Healthier Relationships After Divorce by Ginger Gentile, Filmmaker
As the director of Erasing Family, my hope is to help reunite and heal families following divorce and contentious custody battles. Erasing Family highlights the ways in which many individuals are unable to break learned cycles of damaging behavior from their parents’ divorce years later.
As a child of a high-conflict divorce, I have firsthand experience with the damaging effects of divorce on a young adult’s development personally and professionally. I urge young adults to follow these steps to help break the cycle and introduce healthy and productive relationships:
- Children of divorce often have trouble setting boundaries. Learn how to be friendly yet firm when people overstep.
- Until you heal the source of your trauma, you cannot move forward. If you haven't talked with one parent in a long time, reach out to see if you can learn about their perspective and put yourself in their shoes.
- Recognize the patterns in your behavior. If you are constantly seeking out relationships and workplace environments that are filled with hostility, take a moment to recognize that this may be a subconscious attempt to recreate the environment you experienced during your parents’ divorce.
- Look for work environments that incorporate training programs on how to diffuse conflict in a productive way.
- Value communication in your personal relationships. It is important to talk about the behaviors that you do not want to repeat in your romantic relationships that you witnessed during the breakdown of your parent’s marriage.
There are many important steps parents and children can take to heal following divorce. Many people do not consider how harmful divorce can be for children’s development. Kids learn so much from analyzing the relationship between their parents. It is incredibly important following a contentious divorce to put your child first. We need to focus on healing the trauma the child experienced during the divorce so that they are not cynical and unable to maintain healthy relationships in the future.
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