I had the opportunity to speak to a joint meeting of the Georgia Psychological Association and the Georgia Association of School Psychologists last month. I came across this article by Wendy Jaffe at Divorce Lawyers’ Guide to Staying Married and thought I would pass it on:
I came across an interesting article on the website of the National Association of School Psychologists containing great tips for parents (and school administrators and teachers) on how to deal with children during and after a divorce. I highly recommend reading the entire article if this is a topic that has relevance to your life. I am excerpting a portion of it that I found particularly insightful below about the way that parents tend to deal with their children after a divorce.
"Parenting style (emphasis added) is an important factor in children’s response to divorce. Some parents … do not generally set limits or enforce rules or structure in the family. …Children raised in this way are less likely to develop good self-control and can be aggressive or impulsive.
Other parents harshly enforce a variety of rigid rules with less warmth or respect for the children. Children raised in this way may turn out to be angry, defiant, and dishonest when dealing with others.
Still other parents neglect their children for the sake of their own needs and are simply not there for there children. Children raised in this way may develop a variety of psychological or behavioral problems."
So how should parents interact with their children after a divorce?
"The most protective style of parenting, and the one associated with the most well-adjusted children, is one where parents have rules, structure, and expectations for appropriate behavior. They are not afraid to back up their expectations with fair, consistent discipline. These parents are clearly the adults in the family, but they show respect and love for their children. This style of raising children is probably the most powerful protection against the risks associated with divorce. To the extent that each parent can use this style of parenting, the children will fare better."