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
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
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.
Impact of Divorce on Children http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zd1jZKkiPjw&feature =related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zd1jZKkiPjw&feature =related
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?
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Divorce is not the end of the world… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ue0HU_579SQ