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Brenda Sheik Home Economist. Tammy Fowler Assistant Parenting Specialist. Elaine Wilson Parenting Specialist. Divorce changes a family. Consider children’s ages and interests when making family decisions. Lifestyle the child experiences. The child’s interests determine appropriate:.

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Elaine wilson parenting specialist





Tammy Fowler

Assistant Parenting Specialist





Elaine wilson parenting specialist

Divorce changes a family.Consider children’s ages and interests when making family decisions.Lifestyle the child experiences.

The child s interests determine appropriate
The child’s interests determine appropriate:

  • parenting activities

  • visitation arrangements

  • explanations of divorce

  • family lifestyles

Elaine wilson parenting specialist


  • 6:30 pm Registration

  • 6:35 pm Introduction

  • 6:45 pm Positive Aspects of Divorce

  • 7:00 pm Managing Stress

  • 7:20 pm Break

  • 7:30 pm Development and Divorce

  • 8:00 pm Referrals

  • 8:30 pm Attendance

You will learn
You will learn:

  • how to talk about your family lifestyle

  • how to manage stress

  • wise custody and visitation

  • how to co-parent

Positive features of co parenting families
Positive Features of Co-Parenting Families

  • Fastest growing family type

  • Strong parent-child relationships

  • Brothers and sisters close

Children learn
Children Learn

  • home management skills

  • to be cautious about marriage

  • self reliance

  • realistic expectations of adults

Managing stress
Managing Stress

  • Maintain routines

  • Talk about feelings

  • Delegate

  • Release tension


  • Denial

  • Anger

  • Bargaining

  • Depression

  • Acceptance

At all ages children need
At all ages children need:

Predictable, dependable routines.

Attention to abilities and interests.

Parents who communicate.

Friends for support and relaxation.

Help managing fear, stress and anger.

Stable adults.


Stages of divorce
Stages of Divorce

1. Disillusionment - giving up

2. Erosion - things get worse

3. Detachment - emotional distance

4. Physical Separation - moves out

5. Mourning - grief, sadness

6. Second Adolescence - acting out, wild, crazy

7. Resolution - calm, stable, single person

Children can feel all of the emotions that adults feel
Children can feel all of the emotions that adults feel.

Abandonment Denial

Disappointment Fear

Guilt Insecure

Rejection Shock

Sense of something terrible.

Explaining divorce to children
Explaining divorce to children

Goal 1 - Still parents

Goal 2 - Mutual decision

Goal 3 - Get help

Goal 4 - Communicate

Key concepts
Key Concepts

Marriage ends.

Parenthood continues.

Mutual decision.

Brothers and sisters bond.

The divorce is permanent.

Other people can help us.

The divorce was a “grown up” decision.

Lifelong process
Lifelong Process

Changing understanding





Accept change

Infant and toddler
Infant and Toddler

Secure routine Holding and cuddling

Simple explanations Basic needs

Verbal and physical assurance of love and protection.

Set limits and provide consistent follow through.

Parent needs to seek support from others.


Tell 1-2 weeks before a change.

Parent model.

Predictable, stable routine.

Make few changes.

Introduce necessary changes gradually.

Preschooler continued
Preschooler (continued)

Give verbal and physical reassurance.

Avoid unnecessary separation.

Assure child of your return.

Read aloud age appropriate books on family.

Encourage play.

School age

Tell as soon as possible.

Needs sense of family.

Do family projects and activities.

Stable school and social activities with parents involved.

Reassurance that parents will continue as parents.

Be clear that divorce is permanent.

Encourage play and exercise.


Tell as soon as possible.

Allow child time to handle feelings.

Structure and routine.

Avoid power struggles.

Be available.

Be clear that divorce is permanent.

Encourage physical exercise.

Maintain parent role.

Maintain adult privacy.

Arrangements for being with the non custodial parent
Arrangements for Being with the Non-custodial Parent

Age Location Length Min. Freq. Needs

Infant child’s 1-4 hrs 2 x’s per wk routine

home familiar place

Toddler outside 1 day 1 x per wk favorite child’s no overnight objects

home routine

Pre- outside overnight 1 x per wk favorite

school child’s 1 day objects home 1 week pattern

Elaine wilson parenting specialist

Age Location Length Min. Freq. Needs

School- outside weekend 1 x per wk belongings in

age child’s to 6 wks each home home parent involved

predictable pattern

Teenager outside few min. 1 contact peers

child’s 1 yr or per negotiable

home more week activities

inside employment




within child’s home

1-4 hours

2 times each week

no overnights

regular routine


  • outside child’s home

  • take favorite objects along

  • entire day

  • visit at least once a week

  • no overnights

  • maintain routine


  • outside child’s home

  • take favorite objects along

  • overnight to one week

  • at least one time each week

  • predictable pattern

School age1

  • outside child’s home

  • one time each week

  • own belongings in each home

  • overnight to six weeks

  • one time each week

  • predictable pattern

  • parent involvement in activities


  • outside child’s home or in dorm room or apartment

  • peer relations, activities, employment, independence, mobility

  • few minutes to one year or longer

  • at least weekly contact

  • negotiable routine

Developmentally appropriate arrangements
Developmentally Appropriate Arrangements

More visitation is generally better than less.

Children adjust better when parents are not hostile.

Greater distance requires greater effort.

Telephone calls, letter, fax and e:mail supplement time together.

Child’s needs take precedence over adults needs.