During this past Halloween, I was reminded that this holiday is often a flashpoint for conflict between parents who are divorcing or have already divorced. In many of the families that I work with, there were issues around the timing and act of trick-or-treating, costumes, dinner, etc. Read More
For families that have the additional challenge of recent divorce or separation, the first holiday season can be very difficult to navigate—there can, and probably will be, significant differences from what the children, and their parents, are used to (especially if the holidays are not celebrated together). Read More
When the college-age children of divorced families begin their journey out of the nest and onto the quad, the best gift to give them is the peace of mind that comes in knowing their foundation is still there. The last thing they want—as they’re preparing for their SATs, ACTs and writing their essays—is to worry about the conflict between mom and dad regarding which colleges they can think about, because mom and dad have not come to an agreement in advance.
Last spring, Jeff and I conducted a series of workshops and seminars for professionals in Wuhan, China. In one of the workshops, we asked the participants to write letters as if they were children caught in the middle of divorcing parents. Read More
Divorced parents benefit from modeling their communication pattern after business etiquette—it should be Civil, Polite, and Respectful (CPR). The idea is for each parent to take responsibility for their individual communication styles and focus on implementing CPR communication, regardless of what the other parent is doing (or not doing). When both parents commit to setting the standard for the best communication possible, then generally one parent will be communicating well even if the other slips occasionally. Read More
It is hard for any parent to send their children off to college for the first time. The last two years of high school are so focused on the outcome of this process, creating increasing tension and expectation. SATs, college tours, essays and applications, and then waiting with baited breath for the colleges to send acceptances all raise the temperatures of parents and children. Read More
A safe, secure co-parenting relationship is ostensibly the most important and protective gift that parents who are divorcing can provide to their children. In lieu of being consumed by the logistics of divorce, it is important for parents to develop a more secure attachment to each other in their roles as parents. Read More
We’ve written before about the power of rewriting your divorce narrative for yourself, but in this article we discuss how to frame the issue for your children.
Developmentally, young adult children are busy exploring their lives, their work, and their love relationships—and are quite independent and operating very much outside of the realm of their family of origin. Notwithstanding, they are often devastated by the news that their parents are getting a divorce. Read More
Fostering your daughter’s self-esteem and healing after your divorce is a top priority, because daughters are vulnerable to cultural influences and more at risk for low self-esteem than sons are after divorce. Studies show that girls tend to define themselves through relationships and are socialized to seek approval from others, and they look to social connections to give them a sense of self-worth.
Because girls and young women tend to derive their self-worth from relationships, they may be more vulnerable to the losses associated with a divorce in their family. There is a lot of evidence to suggest that how you talk to your daughter about her feelings and how connected she feels to both of her parents after your breakup can greatly influence her feelings of self-worth. Read More