Children and Divorce
Divorce is experienced very differently by parents and children. Judith Wallerstein describes these differences in her book The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce. For adults, it is a way to solve the problem of an unhappy relationship. Young children usually are not able to understand the connection between their parents' unhappiness and the divorce. Despite the best intention of their parents, children frequently do not understand why parents have decided to divorce. Read a great article about children and divorce.
Wallerstein suggests ways to better address the needs of children and parents. She recommends divorce mediation. Divorce mediation helps parents reach agreement that address the specific needs of each family member. Divorce mediation encourages people to discuss a broad range of issues--for example, school schedules, special needs, activities, hobbies, child care, summer plans, and expenses. Mediation encourages parents to brainstorm, to consider new ideas and to reach innovative solutions. Click here to find a lot of useful information.
Wallerstein's study criticizes court-oriented systems which intend to protect children, but which make decisions without fully addressing children's interests and wishes. Too often court decisions do not take into consideration important aspects of children's lives.
Mediation is one way for parents to meet and reach detailed, flexible agreements that will solidify their relationships with children. Mediation encourages parents to focus upon the needs of their children. The agreements can address the nitty-gritty of children's lives, such as sports, orthodontics, carpools, homework, and summer activities. In mediation, parents realize that as their children mature, specifics will need to be adjusted. Periodic discussions can help parents make the necessary changes. Click here to read about how to communicate with the other parent.
Following divorce, children need to adapt to new homes, dividing their time with parents,and new relationships. Letting children know that you are always willing to speak with them about their feelings and concerns is very important. Mediation helps parents discuss ways to maintain strong relationships with their children. Click here to read a good article about the mediation of children's issues.
Sheila Russian provides divorce mediation services in Baltimore, Owings Mills, Towson, Columbia and Westminster, Maryland. Flexible office hours include daytime, evening, and weekend appointments. Phone: 410-419-4289