Category Archives: Divorce

15 Things Children Want You to Know About Divorce

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Children often feel or actually are voiceless when their parents divorce. It is a highly emotional time for parents, and kids sometimes become part of the fabric of the conflict as each parent decides what he or she thinks is in the best interests of the children.

There are some parents who can continue to parent their children and maintain a civil, if not friendly, relationship with the person from whom they are disengaging the rest of their life. For those who cannot, it appears children have a great deal to say about this. If and when they do tell you what they think, it is a good idea to really listen to some of the words of wisdom they have to offer. Here are some examples based on Cooperative Parenting & Divorce Parent’s Guide (Boyan & Termini, 1999).

The Divorce Bag

The Divorce Bag is a way for children to process their feelings about divorce by getting them to think about themselves, their feelings, and the people around them. By adding a different item each topic, they can process information about the divorce and uncover coping mechanisms within themselves until they have a completed bag.

The first item for the bag is a plastic animal, which the child chooses as a representation of himself/herself. The child could describe characteristics of the animal that s/he also sees in themself. This can be a way to uncover how the child views themself and what s/he thinks about themself during the divorce.

The first item for the bag is a plastic animal, which the child chooses as a representation of himself/herself. The child could describe characteristics of the animal that s/he also sees in themself. This can be a way to uncover how the child views themself and what s/he thinks about themself during the divorce.

Consistent Co-parenting Makes Life Easier for Children after Divorce

Consistent Co-parenting Makes Life Easier for Children after Divorce

Parenting after divorce takes patience, cooperation and collaboration. It’s not uncommon for one parent to notice behavior differences in their children when they return from a stay with their other parent. This can be extremely frustrating or irritating, especially if your values and parenting style doesn’t match that of your former spouse.

What can you do to remedy the situation? Try having a conversation about how inconsistencies affect your children after divorce – and see if you can come to a better understanding.
Consistency in parenting creates the smoothest transition after divorce – and in the years that follow. If the rules previously established in your home are still followed by both parents after the divorce, the children are likely to more easily adjust to the new transitions in their life. In families where Mom and Dad dramatically disagree about significant parenting decisions, the consequences can be disturbing and sometimes dangerous. Differing values regarding discipline, curfews, homework, eating habits, after school activities, etc. can create confusion in your children and major conflicts between Mom and Dad. Children can pay the price emotionally – and are also likely to take advantage of the parental rift in many destructive ways. When they play Mom against Dad everyone looses and the kids especially lose the security and continuity of effective parenting.

How Can Parents Lessen Traumatic Effects of Divorce on Children?

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Is the trauma children typically experience when divorce occurs in the family due to the divorce itself or other factors that surface around the divorce between the parents?

To a marriage and family therapist, this is an important question. If mental health professionals know specifically what it is about the process of divorce in the family that is traumatic for children, the trauma can be lessened to a great degree by addressing the specific factor(s) that children who experience divorce in the family are confronted with.

Many children experience the process of divorce in their families. During the 1970s and ’80s, the pop psychology was that parents should not stay together for the sake of the children. The theory was, “If the parents aren’t happy, the children will not be happy.” While that is most likely true, research has shown that there are, in fact, traumatizing effects that divorce can have on children.

However, the divorce itself does not appear to be the only factor that is traumatic for children when the divorce process takes place. Other factors, such as not seeing one of the parents as often, the parents transitioning into new relationships, changes in the socio-economic status of the family, and the constant transition from one parent’s house to the other parent’s house can also be difficult adjustments for children who experience divorce.

The Divorce Bag: Positives

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The child is asked to share something positive about themselves. After s/he shares something, a rock or bead will be placed in a small bucket/cup.  The goal is to encourage the child to say enough positive things about themselves for the bucket/cup to overflow, then the child gets to add the overflow rocks or beads to the bag. This helps reinforce that there are good things within and about the child, even when s/he may feel like there are not.

Cory Helps Kids Cope with Divorce

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This engaging story and collection of therapeutic activities helps very young clients cope with divorce. Cory, the central character in the story, helps children gradually confront and process their feelings and reactions related to the divorce. Includes a reproducible story, activities, and detailed parent handouts. Ages 4-8. Get it for less at www.lianalowenstein.com

The Divorce Bag: Foam Luggage Tag

A foam luggage tag with a ribbon, to attach it to an overnight bag is also part of the divorce bag. This can be used for the child to write ...

A foam luggage tag with a ribbon, to attach it to an overnight bag is also part of the divorce bag. This can be used for the child to write the items s/he needs to take to mom’s on one side and the items they needs to take to dad’s on the other. This can help the child break down what can be an overwhelming experience into manageable, less scarey pieces.

The Divorce Bag: Lovey Necklace

Memory Necklace- use for separation anxiety, grief, or even divorce

I decided to make Phee a little lovey necklace for Monday morning of week two. I made it quickly in the hopes that having pictures of mom and dad readily available all day would help her feel better. When the necklace was finished and she had it on Sunday night, Doug and I both talked to her about how she’s never really alone- we’re always with her. And when she wears her necklace, she can see us both and be reminded that we love her and we’re thinking about her.

http://www.drcachildress.org/

The Office of Dr. Craig Childress a specialist who is aware of parental alienation.

Welcome, you’ve reached the professional website for Dr. Craig Childress, a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in treating children and families. My specialty areas of focus include the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD-spectrum issues, treating excessive child anger and defiance, resolving marital conflicts, early childhood psychotherapy, and assessing and consultation for Parental Alienation Dynamics.

 

The Divorce Bag: Fred Stays with Me!

A small girl’s bond with her beloved pet helps her handle the disruption of her parents’ divorce. She has to sleep in two different beds in two different homes, but wherever she goes, her dog, Fred, stays with her. He does make trouble–barking at the poodle that lives next door to Mom’s house, shaking mud all over her car seats, eating Dad’s socks–but when the grown-ups object, she is adamant that she will never let him go. Kids will enjoy the simple, first-person narrative and the playful art, in shades of brown and red, that shows the mayhem Fred causes and the power he gives the child because he will never leave her.

How Parental Negativity Can Affect Children

How Parental Negativity Can Affect Children

Being a parent isn’t easy, even during the best of times. It’s not possible for even the most optimistic person to be sunny and cheery all the time — and everyone experiences occasional feelings of negativity. Too much negativity, however, can have a detrimental impact on your children and may even cause long-lasting, harmful effects.

The Divorce Bag: A Smart Girl’s Guide to Her Parent’s Divorce

The changes that come with divorce can be difficult for a girl. In this book, American Girl answers girls' letters about every aspect of divorce, from the initial split-up to a parent's remarriage. The book includes quizzes and tips, plus advice from girls who've been there and have wisdom to share.

The changes that come with divorce can be difficult for a girl. In this book, American Girl answers girls’ letters about every aspect of divorce, from the initial split-up to a parent’s remarriage. The book includes quizzes and tips, plus advice from girls who’ve been there and have wisdom to share. – See more at: http://towardthestars.com/Product-A_Smart_Girl_s_Guide_to_Her_Parents__Divorce:_How_to_Land_on_Your_Feet_When_Your_World_Turns_Upside_Down_(American_Girl)-2056.html#sthash.9s0rCWGJ.dpuf

The Divorce Bag: In My Heart . . .

I invite you to just take a moment and focus your attention on your heart center in your body. Imagine all of the people, pets, memories, and other significant things resting here. They are being carried with you during your days, helping to make you who you are. Just thinking and being reminded of this can help calm us and help us make decisions according to what matters most to us.

Printable healing heart activity for children. Great for attachment, adjustment, grief and loss, and child to tap into some inner peace. #socialwork #playtherapy #mindfulness

The Divorce Bag: Divorced But Still My Parents

Textbook, workbook and storybook for children ages six through twelve.

Divorced But Still My Parents is a textbook, workbook and storybook for children ages six through twelve. Based on the grief recovery model, this guide gently encourages boys and girls to understand the feelings caused by the parents’ separation, and gives them specific strategies to cope. Parents can read Divorced But Still My Parents along with their children, and support the acceptance of changes in the family structure.

The Divorce Bag: My Life Turned Upside Down, But I Turned It Rightside Up

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Ages: 4-10. This book is a self-esteem book about dealing with shared custody. This “upside down” book tells the story of a young girl and how she handles the challenges of living in two places. On every other page, she tells us about a problem she had, and when the reader flips the book over, the next page tells how she solved the problem. In addition to holding the interest of children, the action of turning the book upside down will help them realize that they can take charge of the problems that occur in their lives and find practical solutions that will help them feel “grounded” again. Told with humor and sensitivity, this child’s feelings and concerns echo those of most children of divorce.

The Divorce Bag: Coping With Change

A kaleidoscope is a visual aid to remind students that things are changing all the time.  The way we handle change is all about the way we look at it.  Change can be good and in some instances beautiful.  While making the kaleidoscope, we can discuss, “What things have changed in your life as a result of this change?” and “How have you changed as a result of this change?”  “What are some things you do to help when you are feeling upset about this change?”

Tug On My Heart

The Invisible String

The Invisible String by Patrice Karst

If I could only have one book to use for counseling purposes, this would be it. This book is extremely versatile. It can be used for any type of separation, loss, group counseling termination (great way to end a group), intake (learn a lot about a child) and identifying ones’ support system. The premise of the book is that we are all connected by an invisible string. Even though it is invisible, you can feel it with your heart. Everyone has an invisible string, and it can reach anywhere, even heaven. The book’s message is that no one is ever alone, even when their loved one is not physically present.

the “D” word

(Grades 2-6) Otis used to have the perfect family. That all changed when his parents told him that they were getting a D…D…D… The D Word he cant even say it! At first Otis blames himself. With the help of his Gram, Otis discovers the reasons why people get divorced. He also learns about the Three Cs of Divorce: I didnt CAUSE it I cant CONTROL it, so Im going to have to learn to COPE with it! This book offers both children and adults the tools and insights that are needed to effectively deal with the difficult challenges that a family goes through when parents get divorced. Softcover, 32 pages.

The Divorce Bag: Boost Your Child’s Confidence in 2 Minutes

GoZen Stress Management for Kids Power Pose StandingWe all know body language has a subconscious effect on how others perceive us, but did you know it also affects how we think about ourselves? It turns out that helping your kids feel more confident and powerful—emotionally, behaviorally, and physiologically—could be as simple as a change in posture.

The Divorce Bag: My Feel Happier Flower!

My Feel Happier Flower (a coping skills plan for kids-FREE)

This flower is a great way to identify the supports a young or older child has. Using the metaphor of a flower, talking about coping skills is non-threatening. This 1 page worksheet/ activity includes a spot for coping skills, social support and positive self-talk. This could be adapted to be created with construction paper if the time allows.

Understanding Your Child’s Love Language

When my husband and I returned from a trip, we brought each of our children a small gift. My first child opened his gift and was so excited we thought of him. He disappeared for hours to play with it. My next child set aside the gift focusing her attention on hearing every detail about our experience. My 3rd child could also care less about the gift or our stories, and only wanted to physically sit in our lap. They each felt our love in different ways.Knowing your love language and that of your family can help you express and receive love more fully. Take a quiz to find out yours.

The Divorce Bag: What Can I do? A Book for Children of Divorce

What Can I Do? A Book for Children of Divorce

When Rosie’s parents tell her they are divorcing, she wonders what she can do to keep them together. She tries being her cheeriest self, giving them the money in her piggy bank, keeping the house clean, and getting good grades, but none of her plans work. By the time her parents separate, Rosie is sad, frustrated, angry, disappointed and confused. One day she blows up at her best friend in school. As a result, she visits the school counsellor, and joins a group of children with divorced parents who meet and share their feelings, experiences, and helpful ideas. By the end of the year, Rosie has learned many good answers to the question, “What can I do?”.

Kids First

Kids First : What Kids Want Grown-Ups to Know About Separation & Divorce Kids First is not about legal strategies or who gets the 401K; it’s about divorcing in a better way with the kids in mind. This eye opening book explains effective and less hurtful ways to deal with: - separation  - co-parenting  - holidays and celebrations  - new relationships.

Topics Include:

  • What separation feels like to kids
  • Listening to children
  • Telling kids about the separation
  • Steps toward a healthy co-parenting partnership
  • Kids’ residence
  • Kids’ transitions
  • Holidays and celebrations
  • Parental anger
  • New relationships, new families
  • The legal system – courts, lawyers and kids
  • Schools supporting the co-parenting process
  • One child’s perspective – Olivia’s story

Includes actual kids’ experiences, in their own words.

The Divorce Bag: Mom and Dad Glue


Divorce is an unhappy fact that affects many children’s lives, and the story told in this book was written for those little boys and girls. Its message can help soothe their feelings and make them understand that their parents’ separation is in no way their fault. Parents who are divorcing will also value Mom and Dad Glue as a story they can read to their children and help them realize that although their parents’ marriage has not worked out, Mom and Dad love them today, as they always have and always will.

The Divorce Bag:This Is Me and My Two Families: An Awareness Scrapbook/Journal for Children Living in Stepfamilies

This Is Me & My Two Families

This unique awareness scrapbook/journal is designed for children in stepfamilies to work on with their parents, stepparents, foster or adoptive parents, grandparents or step-grandparents, or other concerned adults. Working together, children and adults can learn about their new family situations through drawing, pasting, writing, and filling in blanks. This book can also be used by therapists, counselors, and teachers to help children and their various families resolve conflicts and open up new ways of understanding and relating.

Parenting Teenagers During Divorce

Parenting Teenagers During Divorce

While your teen is busy trying to exert independence, parents still need to lay some ground rules to make sure that both parents stay involved in their child’s life. The key is to have a mutual understanding between you and your teen. In other words, take your teen’s life seriously and he or she will take both parents seriously as well.    by: Dr. Kay Sudekum Trotter

 

Talking About Divorce

Kids deal with a lot of tough questions and situations when dealing with divorce. These cards help get students talking. Can be used in either individual or small group counseling, this set of 48 "Talk About It" Cards asks students to reveal their thoughts and feels about their own divorce and the 32 "Share Your Advice" Cards allows students to role play and discuss various situations around divorce.

Kids deal with a lot of tough questions and situations when dealing with divorce. These cards help get students talking. Can be used in either individual or small group counseling, this set of 48 “Talk About It” Cards asks students to reveal their thoughts and feels about their own divorce and the 32 “Share Your Advice” Cards allows students to role play and discuss various situations around divorce. Also included are several blank cards to make your own questions.

The Divorce Bag: Inside Out Feelings Journal

Free printable Inside Out feelings journal http://briebrieblooms.com/printable-inside-out-feelings-journal/?utm_content=bufferb9490&utm_medium=social&utm_source=pinterest.com&utm_campaign=buffer #insideout #emotions

Inside Out taught us that sometimes feelings don’t quite know how to handle situations, just like when my daughter expresses her frustration by saying or doing things unintentionally. She related to each character and after the movie we talked about different times each emotion made her behave a particular way. It was much easier for her to talk about feelings when thinking about the characters from the movie. Joy, Anger, Disgust, Fear, and Sadness slowly became part of her journal entries.

Inside Out Inspired Emotions Mix-Up Game

Inside Out inspired Mixed Up Emotions Game

As a mom of an adopted child that has a hard time recognizing and expressing negative emotions, I am all about finding ways to talk about emotions with my children, so I really am looking forward to checking out this new movie with her. We have an emotion wheel that we use when discussing her day, and she has a journal that she has to write in each night to help her determine how her day went and what emotions she experienced, but I am always looking for other ways to discuss emotions with not only her, but with my younger two as well. After seeing the fun facial expressions on the Inside Out Plush Dolls and in the movie trailer, I started thinking that it would be neat to create a game that the kids could play on the gloomy, rainy days that we’ve been having. After a bit of brainstorming I came up with this fun Emotions Mix-Up Game.

The Divorce Bag: Mom or Dad’s House?: A Workbook to Help Kids Cope with Divorce

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Mom or Dad’s House is a workbook to help kids whose parents are going through a divorce. Through therapeutic art and writing exercises, kids can get their feelings out, learn how to deal with those feelings in appropriate ways, and build their self-esteem. Designed for kids aged six to 16, this workbook is meant to be used as a counseling tool to foster healthy coping strategies and a positive self-image as kids adjust to their new family situation. 

The Divorce Bag: Divorce Is Not The End Of The World

Zoe and Evan Stern know firsthand how it feels when your parents divorce. When their parents split they knew their lives would change but they didn’t know how. A few years later, when they were 15 and 13 years old, they decided to share their experience in this positive and practical guide for kids. With some help from their mom, Zoe and Evan write about topics like guilt, anger, fear, adjusting to different rules in different houses, dealing with special occasions like birthdays, adapting to stepparents and blended families, and much more.

 

 

Marriage Outside of the Box: Staying Together by Being Weird

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They realize that the financial toll of divorce can be devastating, from lawyers to the establishment of two new households.  Just think about it:  you’ll need a new television, frying pan, dish towels, vacuum cleaner…. It adds up.

The Divorce Bag : My Parents Are Divorced, My Elbows Have Nicknames, and Other Facts About Me

Ted’s parents are divorced, but that’s just one fact about him. The fact that he has named his elbows Clyde and Carl? Or that Ted walks around with soap in his hair and likes to squawk like a chicken on the phone? Now, that’s definitely weird.

As shown in this lighthearted yet heartfelt account, life with divorced parents isn’t always easy, but above all Ted knows he’s loved—and there’s nothing weird about that at all.

The Divorce Bag: My Family’s Changing Activity Book for Children

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This pdf activity book is colorfully illustrated and offers kids activities to complete in addition to answering basic questions they might have about their parents’ divorce. This pamphlet offers very basic information to educate and help kids dealing with these difficult circumstances.

Parenting from the Inside Out

Born out of a series of workshops that combined research on how communication impacts brain development with Mary Hartzell’s thirty years of experience as a child-development specialist and parent educator, this practical and accessible book guides parents through creating the necessary foundations for loving and secure relationships with their children.
(Daniel J. Siegel, Mary Hartzell, Tarcher 2004)

The Divorce Bag: The Un-Wedding

The Un-Wedding: Babette Cole: 9780679888987: Amazon.com: Books:

Demetrius and Paula Ogglebutt have problem parents who never agree about anything and play childish tricks on each other. After calling a meeting at school for anyone with problem parents, the beleaguered brother and sister discover they are far from alone. Join Demetrius and Paula as they orchestrate the perfect solution for their bickering parents, proving that divorce can be a good thing for all concerned–not least of all the kids.

How to Help Your Fall-Apart Child . . . Pull It Together

How to Help Your Fall-Apart Child Pull It Together1

Here are some possibilities:

1. She is working too much. She’s expected to do too much around the house for a child her age. It’s a burden for her. In that case, lighten her load.

2. She is not working enough. She’s become “spoiled” so that work is cramping her style. In that case, I’d cheerfully add jobs to her list. Not only does she have to do the extra pots, she can do the next meal’s dishes all by herself.

3. She doesn’t understand. She doesn’t understand or embrace the connection between her contribution to the home and the blessing it is to you and her family. You might need to help her grasp the gift that it is to her family.

The Divorce Custody Arrangement That Benefits Kids Most

By Beth Greenfield

It’s the rare divorcee who shares child custody with an ex without worrying about said kids’ emotional fallout. But a new study, published Monday in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, may help put some of those fears to rest. The findings suggest that children are mentally healthiest when they are able split their time between both divorced parents.

Befriending Your Ex after Divorce: Making Life Better for You, Your Kids, and, Yes, Your Ex

Befriending Your Ex challenges many of these destructive myths about divorce, and sets out to change the way we think about the process of divorce and its ultimate outcome. While divorce certainly can have negative effects upon children, when they occur, these effects are likely to result from a hostile and combative relationship between ex-spouses.

Fun Activities for Kids Who Are Dealing With Their Parents’ Divorce

Fun Activities for Kids Who Are Dealing With a Parent's Divorce:

While some couples may stay together to raise their children, slightly more than 40 percent of first marriages in America end in divorce, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Many of those marriages involve children, who may be confused or angered by the situation. It’s important to include your children in the healing process of a divorce, offering them encouragement to talk about their feelings and their fears. Children will experience their own version of divorce and may mistakenly blame themselves; help them understand and process the real reasons behind what has happened and deal with their feelings. By Erin Monahan

The Divorce Bag: What in the World Do You Do When Your Parents Divorce?

Explains what divorce is, why parents divorce, how to adjust to new living arrangements, how to handle feelings, and other basics to help children understand what's happening in their lives.:

In a simple question-and-answer format, this book is a valuable tool for helping children cope with divorce. It gently explains what divorce is, why parents divorce, how to adjust to new living arrangements, how to handle feelings, and other basics to help children understand what’s happening in their lives. With honesty and simplicity, the authors help children realize that divorce isn’t their fault, strong emotions are okay, and families can survive difficult changes. Written to and for kids, this book is also recommended for parents.

Managing Divorce With Children: Advice for Divorced Parents

manage divorce with children

A divorce is never an easy process. It is a taxing ordeal on both spouses, and if there are children involved, their feelings need to be considered as well. Children will experience a wide range of emotions when dealing with a divorce, such as anger, confusion, fear or guilt. It will be stressful for them and they may not comprehend exactly why it is happening. It’s a time of vulnerability and stress when you’re going through a separation, which can make it seem like an even more difficult task to respond to your child’s needs while already shouldering the weight of a divorce.

Children and Divorce: What I Wished My Divorcing Parents Had Known

What I Wished My Divorcing Parents Would Have Done Differently:

Hanif Virani     Dad, Founder of coparently.com

I was 10 when my parents told me that they were getting a divorce. It’s not like it was a huge surprise or anything. The writing had been on the wall for a long time. But somehow it was still a huge shock to the system when they finally told me the news. I didn’t know how I was supposed to feel. I felt guilty — like it was my fault that it had happened. I felt hurt, angry and betrayed. I felt very sad. I was confused. I had so many questions and things that were really worrying me but I couldn’t find the words I needed to talk to my parents about any of it.

The Divorce Bag: Stress Management Card Game

Stressed Out Sally (SOS) is a fun game to help kids learn how to manage their feelings. Teaches children coping strategies and problem solving skills.:

Help Sally figure out appropriate coping strategies to deal with the many problems in her life in this fun game where students get to be the counselor!

This game can be used in classrooms, small group sessions, and in individual sessions.

Card deck includes:
-game instructions
-30 Stressed Out Sally (SOS) situation cards
-10 SOS coping cards

The Divorce Bag: Instant Happy Notes

Instant Happy Notes - Packed full of quotes, doodles, coupons, and thoughts, this small book of stickies create a big impact on happiness. Packaged in an innovative sticky note format, Instant Happy Notes offers 101 mini-messages of joy.:

There’s nothing better than seeing a giant smile on your child’s face!

Packed full of quotes, doodles, coupons, and thoughts, this small book of stickies create a big impact on happiness. Packaged in an innovative sticky note format, Instant Happy Notes offers 101 mini-messages of joy.

Self-adhesive and perforated, these notes can be peeled off one at a time and posted anywhere — mirror, door, TV, car window, desk. They can also be personalized with a note from mom or dad.

 

How Infidelity Affects Children

How Infidelity Affects Children: from Woman's Divorce:

The reasons for your divorce or break up are between you and your spouse, but even if you try to keep infidelity under wraps and your divorce is not front page headlines, it still has an impact on your kids. Even if you don’t tell your kids about the infidelity, they are likely to find out if they are old enough to understand, simply by overhearing arguments between parents or conversations you have with other people. Kids react in individual ways, but the following reactions are almost universal.

Copied from WomansDivorce.com. Read more at: http://www.womansdivorce.com/infidelity-affects-children.html#ixzz44G7qMCYk

Managing Big Emotions Through Movement

Calm Down Yoga Routine for kids, perfect for helping children learn to manage big emotions. Complete with free printable poster.:

Imagine that your child has a friend over for a play date. They are busy playing together, when suddenly your child’s Lego structure gets knocked down. From your child’s facial expression, you see that she is about to explode. You catch her eye and give her the signal. Then she darts away to her “calm zone,” where you hear her counting down from five, while going through five yoga poses for kids. There’s a break of silence, and then after a little bit, your child comes back down to resume play. You look at each other and wink.

The Divorce Bag: I, Amber Brown

Amber Brown loves the holidays. But this year, the season is bringing big changes. Amber’s dad has moved back to New Jersey, which means shared custody. Soon Amber feels as if half of her belongs to her mom and half of her belongs to her dad. Amber decides that she needs to claim something for herself, and when the topic of ear-piercing comes up, she knows just what she’s going to do! After all, don’t her ears belong to her? Full of all the fun, humor, and realistic dialogue that Paula Danziger’s famous for, this is a winning entry in the ever-popular series.

What to Tell the Kids About a High-Conflict Co-Parent

Kids Won't Listen? 8 Ways to Get Them To Hear You by Chaley-Ann Scott  "1) Listen to Them 2) Be Reliable 3) Be Honest...":

Many parents have asked us about how to raise a child or children with a co-parent (whether a spouse, former spouse or unmarried partner) who is “high-conflict.” In other words, the co-parent frequently exhibits some or all of the following:

• preoccupied with blaming others (often those closest to him/her, like the child or the other parent – or both)

• extreme behaviors (like yelling, hitting spouse or child, making false allegations, spreading rumors, hiding money, and so forth)

• all-or-nothing thinking (solutions to problems have to be all their way; they see some people (including themselves) as all-good and others (including you) as all-bad; may see one of his or her children as all-good and the other as all-bad)

• unmanaged emotions (screaming, crying, pleading) – but some don’t show this.  

If you are a parent who is asking this question, it is very important to avoid being accused of “bad-mouthing” the other parent, by speaking negatively about him or her to the children and providing too much information about adult issues, such as a court case. On the other hand, you want to protect your children from the blaming and uncontrolled behavior of the high-conflict co-parent, and to provide the children with coping skills and help them not blame themselves.

The Divorce Bag: INSIDE OUT EMOTIONS WHEEL PRINTABLE

Teach your kids about their feelings with the Inside Out Emotions Wheel Printable:

Emotions and feelings can be hard to understand when you’re young. Which is why I loved bringing my girls to see Inside Out not once, but twice. We’ve done some fun Inside Out recipes and lots of fun activities sheets but I decided to dive a little deeper into emotions with my oldest daughter because she is also going through lots of changes with growing up. So I created an Emotions Wheel to help teach her about different emotions with the help of Inside Out characters to explain them.
Read more at http://jamonkey.com/inside-out-emotions-wheel-printable/#eLALPZtWHLRAcuG5.99

The Divorce Bag: Room for Rabbit

room for rabbit

Room for Rabbit by Roni Schooter is a really beautiful book about divorce a little while after the initial break up. In it Kara’s dad has remarried and now new anxieties and feelings of not having a place in this new marriage have cropped up. This book is a lovely and in depth look at feelings that accompany what happens when one parent remarries after a divorce. The target is preschool but the text is pretty lengthy for kids under 5. I would be tempted to read and edit for length if need be. The illustrations by Cyd Moore and story are great even if the text is a little long for the intended audience.

My Blue Is Happy

Our neighbor says red is angry like a dragon’s breath, but you think it’s brave like a fire truck. Or maybe your best friend likes pink because it’s pretty like a ballerina’s tutu, but you find it annoying — like a piece of gum stuck on your shoe. In a subtle, child-friendly narrative, art teacher and debut author Jessica Young suggests that colors may evoke as many emotions as there are people to look at them — and opens up infinite possibilities for seeing the world in a wonderful new way.

Where Do Step-Grandparents Fit Into Your Blended Family?

Step-Grandparents

Being a step-anything is a tough role. In most cases you are walking into a child’s life who is already a bit older. For a child who has already grown up with biological grandparents, the new relationship can be intimidating. Kids aren’t the only ones who are intimidated: step-grandparents are treading on uncharted territory and have a lot to figure out.

How to ease your child’s transition between Mom and Dad’s House

Separation and Divorce Barrie

It is no secret that separation and divorce is difficult for everyone involved. It is a time of stress and anxiety and children often have many questions. Children often become anxious of the unknown and often question “What’s going to happen to me?”, “Where am I going to live?”, “Who am I going to live with?”. Depending on a child’s age, this transition to their new normal may prove to be quite difficult and upsetting.

The Divorce Bag: The Feelings Book

This invaluable companion to The Care & Keeping of You received its own fresh update! The Feelings Book will help you understand your emotions, and deal with them in positive ways. You’ll get tips on how to express your feelings and stay in control, plus get sensitive advice on handling fear, anxiety, jealousy, and grief. Learn how to stay in the driver’s seat of your own emotions!

The Divorce Bag: Beautiful Oops!

A life lesson that all parents want their children to learn: It’s OK to make a mistake. In fact, hooray for mistakes! A mistake is an adventure in creativity, a portal of discovery. A spill doesn’t ruin a drawing—not when it becomes the shape of a goofy animal. And an accidental tear in your paper? Don’t be upset about it when you can turn it into the roaring mouth of an alligator.

Getting Through My Parents’ Divorce: A Workbook for Children Coping with Divorce, Parental Alienation, and Loyalty Conflicts

For many children, the most challenging journey they will face is dealing with their parents' divorce. This book could be a valuable tool to help in that process.:

Parents’ Divorce, two psychologists and experts in parental alienation offer a fun and engaging workbook to help kids work through stressful or confusing emotions and feel safe and loved—no matter what.

The Divorce Bag: Children of Divorce–Coping with Divorce

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Children of Divorce–Coping with Divorce (CoD-CoD) is an internet-based mental health promotion program for children of divorce ages 11 and up. It takes a child approximately one hour per week over a 5-week period to complete. The program is designed to promote the development of four divorce-specific protective factors that have been identified through previous research.

Building Resilience in Children – 20 Practical, Powerful Strategies (Backed by Science)

Building Resilience in Children - 20 Practical, Powerful Strategies

All children are capable of extraordinary things. There is no happiness gene, no success gene, and no ‘doer of extraordinary things’ gene. The potential for happiness and greatness lies in all of them, and will mean different things to different kids. We can’t change that they will face challenges along the way. What we can do is give them the skills so these challenges are never able to break them. We can build their resilience.

When Children Grieve: For Adults to Help Children Deal with Death, Divorce, Pet Loss, Moving, and Other Losses

When Children Grieve: For Adults to Help Children Deal with Death, Divorce, Pet Loss, Moving, and Other Losses: John W. James, Russell Friedman, ...:

To watch a child grieve and not know what to do is a profoundly difficult experience for parents, teachers, and caregivers. Yet, there are guidelines for helping children develop a lifelong, healthy response to loss.

In When Children Grieve, the authors offer a cutting-edge volume to free children from the false idea of “not feeling bad” and to empower them with positive, effective methods of dealing with loss.

My Divorce Bag: Divorce Children And Bullying

If you are a separating parent who learns your child is bullying at school, here are some specific tips to help you remedy the situation:

  • If your separation includes high levels of conflict with the other parent, find ways to reduce the conflict.
  • Help your child learn productive ways to express anger.
  • Clarify that even though the family is going through a lot of changes, you will not tolerate bullying or mean-spirited behavior of any kind. Believe it or not, children of all ages find security in clearly set limits.
  • Stay actively involved in your child’s school activities.
  • Make your child a priority during the separation.

On the other end of the spectrum, any child who is feeling anxious or vulnerable because of changing family circumstances can be a potential target for bullying. Bullies identify the most vulnerable and insecure kids in their peer group to pick on. Children who are upset or withdrawn because their parents have separated — especially if they’ve had to move and change communities or schools — are quickly identified by bullies as easy marks.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/claire-n-barnes-ma/divorce-children-and-bull_b_1916756.html

Examples of Relational Aggression Elementary Counslor

My Divorce Bag: What are Things I Can & Can’t Control: Anxiety & Anger Counseling

What are Things I Can & Can't Control: Anxiety & Anger Counseling:

This activity teaches kids how to identify whether something is within their control or not, which can be useful for kids with anxiety, anger, lack of focus, motivation, or other social & emotional concerns. There are 3 separate sets of instructions for individual counseling, small groups, and developmental guidance lessons. Check out the preview to see a visual of the 3 different ways this resource can be used.

Children of Divorce Benefit From Play Therapy

Featured Children Of Divorce Play Therapy

Play therapy helped us figure out how our daughter was grieving and processing the changes in her life. Play therapy helped my daughter learn how to express her struggles and learn new strategies to handle anger and sadness. Play therapy helped my ex and me with parenting techniques to support her. I could go on ad nausem of how helpful play therapy has been for us, for her.

The Divorce Bag: Map out your heart

At a loss for a place to start with art therapy? Go to the source, and draw a picture of your heart – literally. Fill in the shape with images of the things you desire, dream of, and love.You can find photos, or simply assign a colored section to each corresponding desire. However you do it, your heart will be full both literally and figuratively by the time you finish this exercise.

Collateral Damage: Guiding and Protecting Your Child Through the Minefield of Divorce

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Approximately fifty percent of marriages in the United State fail. Add to that the increasing number of couples who never marry, have children together, and later go their separate ways. In all of these scenarios, children suffer greatly—often in silence, as parents do not know how to effectively guide their kids. When the sorrow and emotional issues of children are not addressed, the cycle of divorce is likely to continue for them and in generations that follow.

Family Changes Lap Book – Elementary School Counseling for Divorce/Separation

Family Changes Lap Book - Elementary School Counseling for

Do you need a new way to provide students with hands-on interactive activities? Try a lap book! This Family Changes Lap Book gives students the chance to express their emotional needs in relation to divorce or separation, identify supportive people in their lives, generate strategies they can use when they are struggling with family changes, and sort adult vs. kid responsibilities.

The Divorce Bag: Kids Understanding Divorce Or Separation Group Counseling Program

KUDOS Kids Understanding Divorce Or Separation Small Group Curriculum:

Kids Understanding Divorce Or Separation Group Counseling Program or KUDOS is a 10 week small group curriculum that can also be used with individuals designed to help students build resiliency and coping skills to deal with the stresses caused by divorce and separation.

Co-parenting with a Toxic Ex: What to Do When Your Ex-Spouse Tries to Turn the Kids Against You

This workbook offers a powerful technique called cognitive restructuring to help you reframe your thoughts, regulate your emotions, become a more flexible thinker, and stop letting your thoughts define who you are and how you feel. You’ll learn to target the nine specific kinds of negative thinking habits that can cause you to worry or feel bad, such as the I can’t habit, the doom and gloom habit, the all or nothing habit, the jumping to conclusions habit, and more!

Beautiful Oops!

#GrowthMindset-Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg - mariadismondy.com

A life lesson that all parents want their children to learn: It’s OK to make a mistake. In fact, hooray for mistakes! A mistake is an adventure in creativity, a portal of discovery. A spill doesn’t ruin a drawing—not when it becomes the shape of a goofy animal. And an accidental tear in your paper? Don’t be upset about it when you can turn it into the roaring mouth of an alligator.

 

When Children Grieve: For Adults to Help Children Deal with Death, Divorce, Pet Loss, Moving, and Other Losses

To watch a child grieve and not know what to do is a profoundly difficult experience for parents, teachers, and caregivers. Yet, there are guidelines for helping children develop a lifelong, healthy response to loss.

We’re Having a Tuesday

We’re Having A Tuesday will help parents and children of divorce. It begins a conversation, by opening up pathways to talk with children about the effects of living in a shared custody situation. Kids who are living the all too familiar experience of living in two houses easily relate to the story where the little girl is acting out and having to remind herself of the good things about both houses. Parents or other bystanders (teachers, counselors, grandparents, caregivers) can relate to this wonderful story about a little girl bouncing between her parents, as she struggles with living between two homes. She misses simple things like her dogs, her bike and even sometimes her clothes. She misses things about Mommy. She misses things about Daddy. Some of her behaviors reflect it. She eventually discovers that her parents’ love is with her no matter where she is living. The story refers to her carrying their love in a very special kind of backpack wherever she goes. (Her heart.) It is a great reminder that the love between parent and child doesn t change because of divorce. This book beautifully illustrates a touching story and includes an interactive element at the end to facilitate conversation about how kids are feeling about their shared custody living arrangements. The timing and importance of this rare book cannot be overstated. It’s a great resource for anyone touching the lives of children living the shuffled lifestyle caused by their parents’ divorce.

The Divorce Bag: After divorce, shared parenting is best for children’s health and development

To assess where science stands on the issue of shared parenting and overnights for young children, I spent two years reviewing the relevant scientific literature and vetting my analyses with an international group of experts. This work, published in an American Psychological Association journal, was endorsed by 110 leading researchers and practitioners.