Many professionals working with separated and divorced parents have found SPLIT to be an extremely helpful tool in their practice and in their work.

Before using SPLIT with your clients

Assess the dynamics

Before choosing to show SPLIT: The EARLY Years or SPLIT: The TEEN Years, or any other program to your clients, it's important to assess the emotional dynamics of each parent and where they are in the process.

A parent who is struggling to accept the divorce/separation may not be emotionally ready to watch this film. Other co-parents may try to use the film to make the other parent feel remorse and change their mind.

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Before showing this film or any other program to your clients, it's important to assess the emotional stability of each parent and where they are in the grieving process.

A parent in denial or struggling to accept the divorce/separation may not be emotionally ready to watch this film.

Also, if a parent has been victimized, is involved in an emotionally or physically abusive relationship, or is dealing with the addiction issues of a spouse, the film may lead them to reconsider their decision to leave the marriage and stay in a toxic or failed relationship.

Hearing the SPLIT kids talk about divorce may reinforce the belief that children are damaged by divorce and should have a two-parent home. They might also discount the unhealthy nature of the marriage and underestimate the impact on their kids.

Make sure parents preview

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Not every resource is a fit for every family. Stress to co-parents they should preview the film first before showing it to their children.

Co-parents should be told to watch SPILT on their own at a time when the children are not around for two reasons.

First, if a parent has a strong emotional reaction to the film in front of the children, kids will naturally want to take care of that parent. Children may also find a parent's upset or reaction overwhelming, confusing, or scary.

The second reason is previewing the film provides parents with time to prepare and create the best possible viewing experience for their children. If they feel the film would be helpful, parents should think about issues like:

  • When they might show the film to children.
  • How they can create the best environment for viewing.
  • If and when they want to share the film with their co-parent.
  • And how to use it as a resource for having helpful and healing conversations with their kids.

Just like with parents, children who are struggling to accept divorce may be too emotionally vulnerable to watch this film.

If parents need some guidance on how to process the film with their children, suggest they check out the SPLIT Film Guide, which offers helpful tips and scripted prompts for talking to kids.

Be intentional

Before sharing either SPLIT film with a client, have a goal or end result in mind. Ask yourself, What is the purpose of sharing this film? What do I hope to achieve?

You may want to use it to shift perspectives, help parents get more focused on their children, try to get movement on an impasse or polarized views, or set the tone for a meeting or negotiation.

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Reinforce the purpose of the film

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The goal of both SPLIT films is to give voice to children’s experiences when parents part. It also empowers KIDS to talk about their feelings and lets them know they are not alone.

Additionally, it's a unique tool that helps families find ways to talk about divorce openly and honestly, something many children don’t get when parents split up.

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