The Children Come First
Most parents strive to protect their children from the dislocations associated with a breakup, but to their dismay find the task a very difficult and challenging achievement. Even the best-written parenting plan cannot cover every contingency that divorced parents face rearing their children. And without the active involvement of both parents in the lives of their children, parenting becomes much more difficult. Many times, the noncustodial parent slowly drifts out the lives of his or her children, particularly when he or her remarries and starts a second family with his or her new spouse.
From start to finish, "[d]ivore is a psychologically disorganizing experience for families. Parents themselves often feel bereft, powerless and angry. The adults often need validation and support to reorganize their lives to enable them to parent their children," writes Dr. Marsha L. Shelov and Dr. Maria Alba-Fisch of the Taconic Counseling Group.
Before, during and after the divorce, parents must distinguish between the marital relationship, which is ending, and the parental relationship, which endures.
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CHILDREN’S REACTION – A child’s adjustment to divorce depends upon (1) the quality of their relationship with each parent before the divorce, (2) the intensity and duration of the parental conflict, and (3) the parents' ability to focus on the needs of the children in the divorce.
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