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Children and Divorce. 

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Presentation on theme: "Children and Divorce. "— Presentation transcript:

1 Children and Divorce

2 

3 3 STAGES OF DIVORCE FOR CHILDREN: 1.THE INITIAL STAGE = high stress, escalated conflict, unhappiness 2.THE TRANSITIONAL STAGE = economic and social restructuring of the family 3.RE-STABILIZATION STAGE = establishment of post divorce family

4 6 DEVELOPMENTAL TASKS CHILDREN NEED TO UNDERTAKE WHEN PARENTS DIVORCE 1.Acknowledging parental separation 2.Disengaging from parental conflicts 3.Resolution of the loss of the familiar parental relationship & everyday routines 4.Resolution of anger and self blame 5.Accepting the finality of divorce 6.Achieving realistic expectations for later relationship success

5  Who deals better? Young or older children? Boys or girls?  Do they feel guilt, anger, blame? How about teens?  How to tell and how to answer questions?  What are some things that are important for the children to know about the divorce?  What are some things that the children should not know about the divorce?  How to help them adjust? Communicate, continued involvement, lack of hostility and stable living conditions.

6 Impact of Divorce on Children  =related =related

7 IMPACT OF DIVORCE ON CHILDREN Divorce will not have the same effect on all children but generally what effect does divorce have on:  Self concept?  School performance?  Peer relationships  Dating and marriage?

8 EFFECTS OF DIVORCE ON AGE OF CHILD  PRESCHOOLERS: Fear of abandonment, sleep disturbances  YOUNG CHILDHOOD: Fear of being displaced and grief, school difficulties, fear for well-being of absent parent  OLDER CHILDREN: Acting out, fight with parent, spying for other parent  ADOLESCENCE: Fear of own relationship failure, independence, promiscuous-type behavior could increase Taken from “Children and Divorce” by Dr. Judith S. Wallerstein

9 DIVORCE MEDIATION: Mediator attempts to assist divorcing couples in resolving personal, legal and parenting issues in a cooperative manner.  Mediators are generally professionals with family therapy backgrounds.  Encourage shared custody.  Encourage development of communication skills.  It is not a solution for all difficult divorces.  Fathers who feel good about it are more willing to pay child support.

10 CHILD CUSTODY  SOLE CUSTODY: Child lives with one parent who has sole responsibility for physically raising child and making all decisions.  JOINT CUSTODY: Child lives primarily with one parent but both share in decisions.  ALTERNATE CUSTODY: Child lives with both parents, splitting time equally.  SPLIT CUSTODY: Splits the children of a couple between parents, girls to mother, boys to father usually.  THIRD-PARTY CUSTODY: Someone else is assigned legal guardian.

11 NONCUSTODIAL PARENTS  Often have disruption or disappearance of parenting role during divorce.  Children tend to have little contact with the nonresident parent which weakens the bonds of affection.

12 CUSTODIAL DISPUTES AND CHILD STEALING  As many as 1/3 of all post-divorce legal cases involve children.  About 350,000 children are abducted each year by family members in child custody disputes.

13 CHILD SUPPORT  60% of divorces involve children.  90% of moms get custody. Why?  Children rarely see divorce as the opportunity a parent may see in it but… if abuse stops it is a relief.

14 Personal Problems Associated With Divorce  No one ever escapes from a divorce unscathed.  Hopes and dreams are replaced with feelings of rejection, insecurity, and a loss of self-esteem.  The 4 major arguments against divorce are:  Divorce hurts you.  Divorce hurts those around you.  Single life is not what it is cracked up to be.  Staying married is better for you.

15  Divorce people have more illness, more premature deaths, higher suicide rates and more accidents than those who are married.  When we divorce we learn to doubt that any relationship can be permanent.  Children fear that they caused the divorce and they feel rejected and alone.

16 Think of the UP side  Many find their parents are actually happier after the divorce.  They may develop new and better ways of relating to both parents when they have separate time with each one.

17  Children learn compassion and caring skills when a younger brother or sister needs their support and care.  Siblings who are closer in age may form tighter bonds, learning to count on each other more because they're facing the challenges of their parents' divorce together.

18  Brings out strength and maturity.  Some become more responsible, better problem solvers, better listeners, or better friends.  Looking back on the experience, lots of people say that they learned coping skills they never knew they had and feel stronger and more resilient as a result of what they went through.

19  Children realize they can make it through this difficult situation successfully.  Especially when they let others support them, and they look at the good things in their life.

20 Divorce is not the end of the world… 

21 Thats Done!

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