Children of Different Ages Handle Divorce Differently

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Divorce signifies both an end to the marital relationship and a change in the parent-child relationship. In additional to dealing with their own feelings around the divorce, parents develop new concerns and fears about how their children are handling the divorce. While children’s response to divorce can vary widely, researchers have uncovered some common threads that highlight the needs of children at different ages. Regardless of age, don’t expect children to deal with the divorce overnight. The effects of divorce can last more than a couple years, but improve more quickly when parents continually reinforce that they love them and when they do their best to keep children out of parental conflict.

One of the most important factors influencing how young children, 0-3 adjust to divorce is parents ability to take care of themselves. When parents’ needs are met, they are better able to recognize and attend to the Continue reading “Children of Different Ages Handle Divorce Differently”

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Technology Use by Divorced Families is Virtually Inevitable

Increased availability of computers, cell phones, and other multi-media devices has created an environment where technology can be a catalyst for maintaining closer family relationships. In today’s world, the use of technology can assist families to stay connected with one another and feel informed about day-to-day activities. A recent report from the PEW Internet and American Life Project indicated married couples with children used cell phones and the Internet to say hello, chat, “check-in” with family members, coordinate schedules, and stay connected on a day-to-day basis. This report reminds us that in today’s world, the use of technology is virtually inevitable.

  • 93% of married with children households reported having a desktop or laptop computer
  • 58% reported having two or more computers
  • 37% of those with one computer had an Internet connection
  • 63% of those with two or more computers had Internet
  • 76% of adults and 84% of children 7 to 17 years of age reported using the Internet.
  • 52% of users went online with someone else at least once a week
  • 34% engaged in occasional “shared screen moments” with another family member. Shared screen moments consisted mostly of entertainment or “Hey, look at this!” experiences.
  • 53% of participants reported that the use of new technologies resulted in higher quality of communications with family members who did not live in the same household.

The good news is that parents in this study reported that using the Internet to connect to one another allowed them to be as close, or closer, with their family today as they were with their family growing Continue reading “Technology Use by Divorced Families is Virtually Inevitable”

Thoughts on Custody & Parenting Time

Divorce is a complicated series of events that can take days, months, or even years to bring to fruition and progress beyond.  For couples who have children, questions of what the marital breakdown will look like are coupled with discussions around how to share the children between two households. Many times, parents are confronted with making thoughtful and logical decisions about the custody, parenting time, and the well-being of their children in the midst of coping with personal feelings of uncertainty, pain, and loss.

While the trend is changing, mothers still obtain primary custody more than ¾ of the time.  This statistic begs the question, why aren’t fathers awarded more parenting time? There is no single answer to this question. Of course, custody should be limited or removed completely if the parent’s actions compromise the Continue reading “Thoughts on Custody & Parenting Time”