Children of Divorce

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Information about Children of Divorce

Published on January 17, 2008

Author: Bruno


Children of Divorce:  Children of Divorce Parents as Partners in Child Counseling Wairimu Wanjau, Kent State University Stats::  Stats: Divorces in the US 1/1000 Vs 50% Age # marriages More stats:  More stats Some issues facing divorced families::  Some issues facing divorced families: Custodial Support::  Custodial Support: ORC 5101.312 Ohio new hire reporting program Types of ‘broken’ homes::  Types of ‘broken’ homes: Separated Cohabitation broken up Divorced Visitation rights for non-custodial parent No visitation rights No contact Step families Step families:  Step families Three types of step-parenting Primary parent Other parent Older friend Some influences to how children react to divorce:  Some influences to how children react to divorce Nature of parental divorce Intensity of pre-separation disagreements and how the divorce was explained How parents get along after divorce Custodial parent’s ability to respond to the children Extent of financial decline Temperament of child Other relevant factors Three major losses::  Three major losses: Loss of non-custodial parent Loss of custodial parent thru decreased quantity and quality of involvement Loss of pre-divorce standard of living Goals of misbehavior :  Goals of misbehavior Attention Looking for security and belonging Active-constructive attention seeker Passive constructive Active destructive Parents: Examine reaction to behavior, and give more attention to positive behavior Slide11:  Power Child unable to gain acceptance by cooperation, so resort to need for power and control Active power seekers - argue, temper tantrums, break rules... Passive power seekers – stubborn, lazy, forgetful… Parents: examine reason for behavior & use firm, consistent responses – recognize proper behavior Slide12:  Revenge Children feel punished, hopeless and powerless to do anything about the situation: ‘parental indifference or rejection” Active e.g. color walls Passive e.g. sulking May not be aware of the purposes for their misbehavior Parents: Slide13:  Display of inadequacy Severe form of discouragement So that less is required of them – no risk of failure Confirm own perceptions of themselves as failures Parents: Encourage children (not praise) and use natural and logical consequences instead of reward and punishment Forms of counseling :  Forms of counseling Child only Child and custodial parent Child and both parents Parent(s) only Value of counseling with parents::  Value of counseling with parents: Encouragement Communication Perspective Relationship Self-confidence Goals for therapy:  Goals for therapy Improvement of the emotional status of individuals Improvement of the social and financial support of the custodial parent Improvement of the relationship between the children and the custodial parent Improved relationship between ex-spouses Parental behavior::  Parental behavior: Triangulation: Address co-parental conflict indirectly thru children; place them in the middle of fights Coercion: Parents with hard times; use force to resolve conflicts (yell, threaten, hit) Counseling process::  Counseling process: Relationship phase Partnership formation Mutually acceptable goals identified Collaborate, listen, empathize, communicate respect Slide19:  Investigation of behavior dynamics Assess behavior dynamics: strengths and weaknesses of parent-child relationship Both parent’s and child’s views Slide20:  3. Insight phase How relationship with child affects child’s behavior Explore parent’s childhood Effective parenting skills Address co-parental conflicts and competition Slide21:  Reorientation phase Examine the relationship Focus on child’s strengths rather than behavior problems Encourage parent to develop insight and implement alternative behaviors and attitudes Be patient watch for reactions in the other children also Parenting Styles:  Parenting Styles High Parental Affection Low Parental Affection Low Parental Control High Parental Control Effective discipline:  Effective discipline Giving warm but firm discipline Communicating effectively Using time-out Using natural consequences Using logical consequences Anticipation Role of temperament Problems::  Adults not able to improve their parenting skills Ex-spouses unable to improve their co-parental relationship Children not responding well to improved parenting, or an improved co-parental relationship Problems: Child rearing problems in shared parenting families::  Child rearing problems in shared parenting families: Sticking to the rules Avoiding play-offs Meeting children’s needs for affection and attention Making time Giving structure and organization to children’s lives Parentification::  Parentification: Are your children assured that you are the one who is in charge of the family? Do you put your child in the role of confidant or emotional caretaker? Do your children regularly see you crying, feeling overwhelmed or defeated, or getting too upset when things go wrong? Parentification (contd.):  Parentification (contd.) Do you discuss your dating relationships with your child? Do you use your child as an intermediary between you and others? Do you describe your child as your best friend or lifeline, or do you or others characterize your child as perfect? Model for counseling with parents (Orton)::  Model for counseling with parents (Orton): Determine the parent’s concept of the child Obtain an expression of parent’s feelings towards the child Help the parent explore parent-child relationship Assist parent to understand and empathize with child Encourage parent to focus on child’s strengths Explore changes that will improve the parent-child relationship

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