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TEMPE, Ariz. -- A divorce is a difficult time in anyone's life, especially children who feel caught in the middle.

In response, Arizona State University is offering a free program designed to help divorced couples be better parents.

"The New Beginnings program is a program that helps parents develop high quality parenting following a divorce or separation," said Dr. Irwin Sandler, the program's director.

Sandler said the program teaches parents how to handle several issues.

"Things like developing a more positive relationship with your children, learning to be a good listener for your children, learning to provide high quality discipline and rules for your kids, and keeping your kids out of the middle of conflict between the ex-spouses."

According to Sandler, putting aside your differences and being a parent can lead to better things for your kids.

"It can lead to [fewer] mental health problems for your child, less substance use, better grades and higher self-esteem," he said, adding that divorce is a tough time that without good parenting could cause problems for kids for years to come.

To be eligible for the free program, parents must be single and divorced or separated from a spouse or domestic partner during the past two years, and have children between the ages of 3 and 18.

Parents who are interested in signing up for the program can visit or call at (855) 531-0851.

Bob McClay, Reporter

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