Keeping Kids Happy After Divorce
So you’re finally divorced, the court battle is over and now you’ve ended a painful and sad episode in your life. But what about your kids? For them the battle has just begun and chances are they’ll blame themselves for the divorce. How can you mend those relationships?
A nasty divorce can leave everyone hurting, but according to noted pediatrician Dr. Terry Brazelton, the children of a divorce often feel as though they “need to keep their parents together” prior to the separation and assume “major responsibility for major events in the family even as early as age three.”
“One of the major obstacles for divorced parents is opening lines of communication between the separated parties and also the children,” says Tara Amaral, co-author of Our Great Kids, a book with tools to support a system of divorced parenting practiced by Ms. Amaral and co-author Chris Frie.
“It’s so important that parents understand what their children are thinking following a divorce,” says Mr. Frie. “That’s why we’ve included a journaling tool for children in our book. Hopefully, by having kids write openly about their feelings, parents can decipher what needs to be done to rebuild trust.”
The journaling tool is just one of many in the book, which aims at keeping parents informed of important dates, medications and more. These are important features considering the following statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control:
• Twenty-five percent of custodial fathers work more than forty-four hours a week
• Eighty-five percent of children who exhibit behavioral disorders come from broken homes
• Seven percent of custodial mothers work more than forty-four hours a week
“We’ve learned from our own experiences that rebuilding relationships that have been damaged by divorce can be a lot of work, even for parents who divorced amicably,” says Ms. Amaral. “Our book is a great way for parents to begin that process.”
The authors have created the Web site www.OurGreatKids.com to go along with their new book. The site allows divorced parents to log into their child’s account to communicate important dates, daily activities and special things that their child did. Parents can also exchange photos and receive e-mail alerts to remind them of scheduled activities.
(Our Great Kids by Tara Amaral and Chris Frie; ISBN: 978-0-9821091-0-6; $23.95; 104 pages; 8½” x 11”; softcover; spiral bound; TML Publishing)
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