Wednesday, 20 September 2017

12 Inspiring Quotes From Celebrity Moms And Dads About Co-Parenting

“Our daughter is growing up seeing two people who care about each other.”

After separating or divorcing from their partners, many celebrity moms and dads keep in mind one important thing: the happiness of their kids.

In magazine interviews and television appearances, the co-parents of Hollywood have made it clear that the experience isn’t always simple and easy, but have also stressed that it is possible to remain a loving family after a separation or divorce.

Here are 12 quotes from celebrity moms and dads about co-parenting.

1 Drew Barrymore on co-parenting with Will Kopelman

“It really is about the tone you set. And you can talk until you’re blue in the face, but kids watch what you do every single day of your life, all day long, and that behavior and that example and that love and community and honesty is just, I think, what’s making everything feel safe for my kids and that’s really the intention I had as a parent.”

During a 2017 appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”

2 Kate Hudson on co-parenting with Matt Bellamy

“If Matt and I had a great relationship, we would still be together, but we chose to move on because we had different visions of how we wanted to live our lives. That doesn’t mean, though, that we can’t rebuild something that would be the best thing for the kids.”

In a 2015 interview with Allure

3 Jennifer Lopez on co-parenting with Marc Anthony

“Marc and I are very good friends, we’re very supportive. I feel it’s my responsibility as a mom when their dad is not there to let them know that their dad loves them very much because that’s the doubt that they have when he’s not around or they haven’t seen him. That’s my job to do that the same way it’s his job when he’s with them to say, ‘Mommy is working and she loves you.’”

During a 2014 appearance on “HuffPost Live”

4 Sienna Miller on co-parenting with Tom Sturridge

“[We] do bedtime every day. We felt like as much togetherness as possible would be ideal, and fortunately we really love each other and are best friends, and so that works.”

In a 2017 interview with Allure

5 Taye Diggs on co-parenting with Idina Menzel

“As people can imagine, it gets rough at times just because we’re not in the same city, but we still love each other and what’s most important is we love our son. That stabilizes us. I’m thankful for him.”

In a 2015 interview with “Entertainment Tonight”

6 Idina Menzel on co-parenting with Taye Diggs

“[Our son] comes first and you have to get past your own egos and you never talk bad about each other.”

In a 2016 interview with People

7 Angela Kinsey on co-parenting with Warren Lieberstein

“I’m really fortunate because my ex and I are very good friends and I talk to him every day. Our daughter is growing up seeing two people who care about each other. We may not be a traditional family on paper but we are a family and I tell her that families come in all shapes and sizes, but [a family is] love and I see her really flourishing because she sees two people treating each other with respect.”

During a 2013 appearance on “HuffPost Live”

8 Amber Rose on co-parenting with Wiz Khalifa

“I have pictures up of me and Wiz in [our son’s] room so he can always come in and see us being happy together. We try to have family days with him, even though we’re not together. Kids want to see their parents together and if you can’t be together in a relationship, you’ve got to come together as friends for your baby.”

In a 2017 interview with People

9 Miranda Kerr on co-parenting with Orlando Bloom

“We decided as a family it was the right decision for Flynn, so Orlando and I both relocated and we live five minutes from each other ... Everything revolves around my son and his welfare.”

In a 2015 interview with HELLO! Fashion Monthly

10 Nick Cannon on co-parenting with Mariah Carey

“We make the kids the number one priority, for them to see their parents together and for everybody to get along and have a great time.”

During a 2015 appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”

11 Gwyneth Paltrow on co-parenting with Chris Martin

“I think, unfortunately, even though we couldn’t stay in a romantic relationship, our values are very much around the importance of family and the importance of those relationships and I’m lucky that we’re aligned in that way. And it’s been hard, and you know, we’ve gone through really difficult times with it, but we’ve always said these children are our priority.”

During a 2015 appearance at the BlogHer15: Experts Among Us conference

12 Ryan Phillippe on co-parenting with Reese Witherspoon

“You have to get to that point as a divorced parent, as any parent, where you’re not putting yourself first. You want the kids’ experience to be its own and not like, ‘Well, I need to have my time!’ We have been very good about that.”

In a 2016 interview with “Entertainment Tonight”


Tuesday, 19 September 2017

7 Things You Need to Know to Deal With Major Life Changes

In a split second, in a freak accident, I lost much of my sight. The reaction and adaptation to the trauma and my new disability taught me some key lessons about going through a major life change. A set of life lessons that helped me to survive and thrive. And since most of us go through changes in our lives, some drastic, some minor, these lessons are applicable to you. 
1. It’s okay to be emotional. It’s natural to have feelings of sadness, to grieve over the loss of something, to feel angry about your situation, or to place blame. You have permission to feel that way, but only for moments. You can have your pity party, but only for a day or two, and then you have to move on. If you spend too much time in that place of anger or pity or blame, you end up not being able to adapt to your change. It keeps you in a place of helplessness. And what you need to be is in a place of hope and of growth.

2. You can give yourself permission to be vulnerable: Some of us like to project an image of being strong and fearless, but sometimes it’s not the truth. The truth is that we’re scared, vulnerable, weak and in need of help. We need to allow ourselves to rely on others. And showing that vulnerability is OK. It may feel like you are exposed, but being completely exposed is not always a bad thing. There is always learning and growth that can come from it. You allow people to really see you and when they can see you, can know your stress or pain, they can help. Vulnerability is just part of who we are as people. 

3. You are never alone: Sometimes when we go through major changes we think we are dealing with something no one else can understand or no one else is going through. But there are others that can empathize with you. You’re not alone. Even if you don’t ask people to be around you, family and close friends will come to your side. You’re also never alone because you always have yourself to rely on. And ultimately none of us are separate from the Creator or separate from the universe. So the idea of being alone is a false one.

4. You have to ask for help: Often people don’t know what to say or what to do. After I had my accident, there were people that didn’t call me for several months, and these were people close to me. Some people get stuck because they don’t know what to say or what to do. Sometimes people are natural caregivers. They jump right in to help. But these are the minority. So it is your job to tell people what to say and what to do that will be helpful. What I’ve learned is that I’ve had to ask very specifically for what I need and for even, sometimes, what I need to hear. Being able to clearly articulate what you need gives people a sense of relief. In the end, people really like to be told how they can help you in very specific terms.  They need it defined for them so they can feel like they are helping and supporting you. Left on their own to guess this information, they feel helpless. And when they feel helpless they do not act. So empower them and empower yourself by letting them know specifically how they can help.

5. You can adapt to anything. Our ability to adapt is amazing. As I began to adapt to being a person with limited sight, I was continually amazed at how quickly I could figure out how to get around problems and obstacles. Necessity is the mother of invention and you will naturally find ways to solve your problems and do things in new and different ways when you’re presented with challenges. The adaptability and flexibility of our spirits and of our beings is a given. Those who cannot change and adapt have convinced themselves it is not possible. If you trust that you can adapt, then you will. And if you believe that you can change, then you will, no matter what the challenge.

6. You have to have hope for the future: I’ve been given news that there is no hope for a change in my sight and have been through two surgeries that did not improve it. Despite these setbacks, I have to believe that there is hope in the future. A belief I will get my sight back. Having that hope and having the positive perspective is what keeps me moving forward every day. If I gave up that belief it would be like letting go of a rope that pulls me forward. Believing that things can and will be different, and that you will see the light at the end of the tunnel, even if you can’t see like me, is the most important thing in getting through a change process. Knowing that there is an end in sight, knowing there are possibilities, and having hope that things are going to be better. And, ultimately, things are going to work out.

7. You will grow as a person, but you are still the same: Going through a change, especially one that is traumatic, changes you forever. It changes how you see life and deal with things. You’re never going to be the same again and that’s a good thing. Because in the midst of change is a great deal of learning, if you are willing to have vision and perspective. And if you are willing to continually ask yourself the question, “What am I supposed to be learning from this?” “How am I supposed to grow?” “How will I become a better person because of this?” In any change process, you can become stronger, and a better version of you. Just because something changes about you, even something radical, doesn’t change the core of who you are as a person. I, as now a visually impaired person, have my same mission, my same purpose, and my same values. So having something different about you doesn’t make you a different human being. If you are strong and centered and grounded, that is still who you are. Sometimes you have to remind yourself of that.


Monday, 18 September 2017

Nesting a New Co-Parenting Arrangement

Divorce is a hard process and perhaps nobody knows this better than the children of divorced parents, who can find themselves caught up in a situation over which they have little control facing an uncertain future. Whilst their emotional lives may be going through turmoil, they also have to contend with the idea that their everyday lives will change, whether that is not seeing one of their parents on a daily basis or moving to a different house or location. Historically there was usually a set plan regarding child custody. In the absence of any glaring reason not to, the mother was granted custodial custody of the children with the father being granted visiting rights. Fathers would see their children every weekend or every other weekend and perhaps for some time during the holidays. In the last decade or so there has been a much bigger shift to a shared custodial arrangement whereby the children spend almost equal time with each parent (or a substantial amount of time with the “non-custodial parent”), moving between their homes. There were many reasons for this shift including fathers being more involved in childrearing and research showing that the involvement of two parents had psychological benefits for the child. As divorce levels rise, people are becoming a lot more innovative about custodial arrangements.

When Daria and David finally decided that their marriage was over they were determined that their divorce would have as little negative disruption on their children as possible. Daria and David decided to give “nesting” a try. Nesting is a relatively new and creative idea in the arena of child custody arrangements. It is called nesting because the children stay in the home while the parents are the ones who leave and return, similar to parent birds who come and go from the nest leaving the baby birds in situ. The concept is based on the idea of shared custody. Shared custody has the advantage that both parents continue to have a close bond with their children and are involved in their everyday lives, but it has a disadvantage of a disruptive effect on the children’s living arrangements as the children shuttle between their parents’ homes. The idea of nesting is that the children stay put in the marital home ensuring their security while it is the parents moving in and out of the house when it is their time with the children.

Daria and David decided on a week each with the handover day being on Sunday. They rented a small flat near their house which the parent without the children would stay in. Daria explained, “We wanted stability for our children in a difficult time. We didn’t want the children to have to constantly pack themselves up. As it was our decision to divorce we felt that we should take the brunt of the moving about”. David added that financially they didn’t have enough money to keep their home and buy a second one which would be suitable for the children, sustaining one household and a small apartment was a lot cheaper.

The advantages for the children mean that they have a feeling of permanence, their environment does not change and they don’t have to remember all their belongings and books each time they move. The sense of routine can be extremely helpful to the children at a time of change and turbulence. It can be great for the children to see their parents co-operating for their sake, and ultimately the children benefit by maintaining a close relationship with both parents in a familiar environment. For the parents, the financial aspects may also be attractive.

However there are downsides in the nesting process. Children may find it hard to accept the end of their parents’ marriage where there is such close co-operation. It also takes a huge effort on the part of the parents to make this arrangement work. Grocery shopping and household chores can be flash points. Where the parents are constantly arguing this arrangement can be more damaging then shared custody where there is little contact between he parents. The lack of privacy can also be an issue, and where one or both of the parents finds a new partner this can make the arrangement impractical . Nesting only works where there is full co-operation between the parents. Many times couples start off wanting an amicable divorce but animosity can set in when the financial settlement is discussed which can make the nesting process difficult, even unsustainable. In any event nesting is usually for a specified time and there needs to be an agreed arrangement in place for when the nesting ends.

Daria and David worked very hard at making nesting work for their family and, although they hit many bumps along the way, they continued the arrangement for 18 months until David found a new partner. At this point they moved to a traditional shared custody arrangement with the children moving between two homes. Both David and Daria agree that although the nesting period was limited and hard, they feel that it has greatly benefitted their children as it provided them with a haven at a time of great uncertainty and change in their lives. Both parents felt that two years post-separation the children were in a better place emotionally to deal with moving between their homes. Daria added that she felt that having been through the frustrations of moving between two homes, she now understood the challenges of moving between homes. "Parents should walk in their kids' shoes," said Joseph S. Mattina a previous New York State Supreme Court justice, who once ordered nesting, with the consent of both parents, because he thought it was important for parents to understand the dislocation that kids often go through in divorce.

Nesting is an idea which takes a lot of co-operation and although there have been rare court ordered nesting arrangements (in the US and Canada) it is mainly thought of as a custody arrangement that would have to be with the consent of both parents. Despite nesting still being an atypical arrangement, as collaborative divorces and mediated divorces come up with more creative child custody arrangements, there has been a lot more interest in the idea of nesting in the immediate period post-divorce. Nesting is certainly not for all couples as it requires a large amount of give and take at a very turbulent time, but for those who can, it definitely appears to be an option , albeit for a specific period of time, that could lend a sense of security to their children during a very uncertain time.

(names and details have been changed)


Sunday, 17 September 2017

Do You Love Your Kid More Than You Hate Your Ex?

”Mom, are most divorced people like you and Dad, or do they usually hate each other?”

My son Caden and I are driving to a movie, just the two of us. Somehow, the other five children in our blended family are otherwise occupied, and we’ve ended up alone on a rare mother-son date. We’re both delighted - Caden for the one-on-one attention and me for the opportunity to hear what’s on his heart.

“I don’t know,” I say. “What do you think?”

“I think most divorced people hate each other.”

Caden keeps talking, cheerfully telling me about other kids in his middle school who act as their parents’ referees, message-relayers and peacemakers. He tells me about adults fighting on phone calls, kids anxious about custody exchanges, and friends who worry they’re clinically depressed. He’s in the seventh grade.

“Why don’t you and dad fight like that?”

I get this question often, though not from my children. Usually I get it from adults, looking for the magic reason my ex-husband Billy and I are friendly. Perhaps we had an easy divorce? No? There must be something unique about us, something that sets us apart from other divorced couples. The implication is that we are much too friendly to be a “real” divorced couple.

The truth is, there isn’t anything different about Billy’s and my circumstances. Our divorce was painful. We each hurt and blamed the other for our pain. We felt alone and rejected and as though we had failed life’s most important task - forming a family.

I tell Caden the truth. “Dad and I don’t fight because we decided early in our separation to make our divorce one wound.”

I can tell by the side-eye look he shoots me that he doesn’t understand, so I continue. Tween boys aren’t likely to ask additional probing questions, after all, and I want him to understand this.

“When we decided to end our marriage, we knew it would hurt the three of you. We knew it would be very hard for all of us. We also knew that we could hurt you once, and then each move on to finding our own happiness separately, or hurt you lots of times. Some parents hurt each other and their kids lots of times by staying together when their partnership doesn’t serve them anymore. Some parents keep hurting their families after they separate by fighting on every topic that comes up - time spent at each house, clothing, vacations.”

He’s listening.

I continue, telling him for the first time that Billy and I didn’t speak for months after we separated. He doesn’t remember that. I tell him, briefly, about the arguments we had when he and his brother and sister had fallen asleep. I share that even then, Billy and I agreed on one thing: the divorce would be the one big painful hurt we caused our children. We were united as a team on that goal, made in therapy as our marriage dissolved. Even when we were on opposite ends of seemingly every spectrum, we agreed on that topic.

“Dad and I still sometimes disagree. We’re different people. You know better than anyone, because you live with both of us. Our styles are different. We like to do different things. We discipline you differently. Dad interacts with Stephanie differently than I interact with Gabe. But we agree on the most important thing: you. We agree to coparent because it is what’s best for you.”

“Dad and I love you too much to ever hate each other.”

I remind him that hating his dad would mean I hated half of his heart. Filling my head and heart with anger about Billy would cloud the happy memories I have of our marriage, and the beginning of my adventures in motherhood. Choosing hatred instead of love would color the start my children’s story.

I’m human, of course. I don’t have only happy memories of our time together. I often disagree with my ex, even when I put the kids first and appear as a united team. I am confident he feels the same way: I can sometimes still catch the edge in his tone when he thinks I’m pushing too hard on something. Our history is messy, filled with hurt and anger. We’re divorced, after all. We chose not to continue hand-in-hand.

But we chose to coparent. We chose, each of us independently and even when we seemingly couldn’t agree on the color of the sky, to keep working as a team. Even when it got messy and complicated and seemed impossible, we kept trying. We looked at the three people we love most and let that love unite us. Our team goal is the same as any other family’s: keeping our children safe and whole.

Billy and I didn’t fail at forming a family when we divorced. Our commitment to our parenting partnership and our children’s childhood means we are forever united. We chose the path that kept our children healthiest and happiest in the long run, and we chose it together. In that way, we are like so many parents who remain married. Our choice to coparent peacefully binds us together.

Coparenting peacefully may seem like a lofty goal. You may not be in that place today. Your partner may seem miles away. I understand; Billy and weren’t always there. But coparenting peacefully is possible. Even for the couples who hurt the most. Even for couples who are miles apart. Start small. Love your babies and start today.


Saturday, 16 September 2017

Making sure the kids are all right, post-divorce

SINGAPORE, June 4 — Going through a divorce is a tough time for couples but they are not the only ones affected by it. Couples who have children also have to deal with the repercussions that their separation has on the little ones and do everything they can to guide them through this trying time.

It was announced in March that a pilot scheme had been launched last November by Singapore’s Family Justice Courts, to train professionals known as “parenting coordinators”, who will help divorcing couples to make sure issues like access arrangements are followed accordingly.

These coordinators work toward reducing conflict and help couples on their journey toward successful co-parenting.

However, even if the separation is a somewhat peaceful process and sharing custody of a child is not a problem, divorce affects children in various ways and parents should address them. Not surprisingly, experts agree that the key here is communication.

“Children are egocentric and they may blame themselves for the divorce if parents do not communicate about it to them,” said Dr Lim Boon Leng, a psychiatrist at Gleneagles Hospital. “Most importantly, parents should present a united front. It is best to explain things together and avoid blaming each other. Explain things in simple terms and keep to the facts.”

Jessica Lamb, a psychotherapist and mediator at Relationship Matters, added that children benefit from honest, open and clear communication so it is important that they know what is happening.

“Children need to know that although their day-to-day family life is going to change, the divorce is the ending of their parents’ marriage and not the end of their family,” said Lamb. “It’s important to reassure them that they will not be asked to choose between Mum and Dad and will not lose their relationship with either parent.”

Let them talk

It is also advisable to give children the chance to express themselves. Dr Lim stressed the importance of allowing children to talk about their anxieties and feelings of uncertainties. 
Parents then need to reassure them that the decision is made by the adults and they are not to be blamed in any way.

“Give your child space to talk and validate how they are feeling,” Lamb explained. “If your child is angry then encourage them to talk about their anger and help them express it and make sense of it. If they are sad then let them know that it’s normal to feel sad and that you do too. If they are feeling anxious about the future then acknowledge that it is an uncertain time and that they are loved and things will settle down soon.

“Let them know that you are both available and willing to talk or listen when they need it and that if they would like to contact their other parent when with you, it is ok,” she added.
And there are rules to follow as to what you should and should not do in front of the kids. Fighting for your children’s affection is a no-no and so is bad-mouthing each other in front of them. Never blame the children for your divorce or ask them to take sides. And do not fight in front of the kids. It is also important to continue to work as a team when it comes to parenting.

Help them cope

How children cope with your divorce and the means to help them depends on their age. For very young ones under five, Dr Lim recommended explaining the divorce using story books with such themes. While these kids may not be able to understand the concept of divorce, they are vulnerable to separation anxiety and will often blame themselves for the divorce. So keep to a consistent schedule for visitations, to minimise any difficulties in adjusting.
Children aged between five and 10 can understand the divorce proceedings better but will still blame themselves for it. “The older ones in this age range may take sides and villainise the ‘bad’ parent,” said Dr Lim. “A greater amount of time may need to be spent to hear them out. Reassure them that they are not abandoned and keep the visitations schedule predictable.”

It gets a bit trickier for children between the ages of 10 and 16 as they can often get rebellious and make it harder for parents to communicate with them.
“Let the children know that the door is always open should they want to talk to maintain open communication. Always be ready to talk and to listen when the teenagers come to you,” said Dr Lim.

And just because they understand the situation better does not mean that you should lean on them. Lamb elaborated: “Although children at this age are more able to process what is happening and understand their parents’ point of view, they should not be expected to take on the role of a friend and become an emotional crutch for either parent. They still need their parents to be their Mum and Dad and take care of them, not the other way around.”

Finally, if you’re going through a divorce when your children are aged above 16, tread carefully as they are able to understand the emotional turmoil involved and may be more scarred and have a mistrust of marriage as a result. It is also at this age that they are more likely to experience grief over the ‘loss’ of their family.

Dr Lim advised that parents therefore have to also address the emotions and grief that the youths experience. Talk to them about their insecurities and negativity of marriage, and help them learn that not all marriages end this way.


Friday, 15 September 2017

9 negative effects divorce reportedly has on children

Divorce is hardly an exception anymore. In fact, with the rate of marriage steadily dipping over the past decade, and the divorce rate holding steady, you are likely to know more previously married couples than those who are legally bound. Accompanying this trend are multiple studies analyzing the effects that divorce has on children. And the results aren't good, even if the stigma of divorce has faded. Here, 9 negative effects divorce reportedly has on children:

1. Smoking habits

In a study published in the March 2013 edition of Public Health, researchers at the University of Toronto found that both sons and daughters of divorced families are significantly more likely to begin smoking than peers whose parents are married. In an analysis of 19,000 Americans, men whose parents divorced before they turned 18 had 48 percent higher odds of smoking than men with intact families. Women had 39 percent higher odds of picking up the habit. Lead author Esme Fuller-Thomson called the link "very disturbing."

2. Ritalin use

Dr. Strohschein, a sociologist at the University of Alberta, wanted to know what was behind the increase in children prescriptions for Ritalin over the past two decades. And so, in 2007, she analyzed data from a survey that was conducted between 1994 and 2000. In it, 5,000 children who did not use Ritalin, and were living in two-parent households, were interviewed. Over the six years, 13.2 percent of those kids experienced divorce. Of those children, 6.6 percent used Ritalin. Of the children living in intact households, 3.3 percent used Ritalin. Strohschein suggests that stress from the divorce could have altered the children's mental health, and caused a dependence on Ritalin.

3. Poor math and social skills

A 2011 study by the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that children of divorced parents often fall behind their classmates in math and social skills, and are more likely to suffer anxiety, stress, and low self-esteem. The reason that math skills are affected is likely because learning math is cumulative. "If I do not understand that one plus one is two," lead researcher Hyun Sik Kim says, "then I cannot understand multiplication." Kim says it is unlikely that children of divorce will be able to catch up with their peers who live in more stable families.

4. Susceptibility to sickness

In 1990, Jane Mauldon of the University of California at Berkeley found that children of divorce run a 35 percent risk of developing health problems, compared with a 26 percent risk among all children. Mauldon suggests their susceptibility to illness is likely due to "very significant stress" as their lives change dramatically. Divorce can also reduce the availability of health insurance, and may lead to a loss of certain factors that contribute to good health, including constant adult supervision and a safe environment. The risk of health problems is higher than average during the first four years after a family separation, but, curiously, can actually increase in the years following.

5. An increased likelihood of dropping out of school

A 2010 study found that more than 78 percent of children in two-parent households graduated from high school by the age of 20. However, only 60 percent of those who went through a big family change — including divorce, death, or remarriage — graduated in the same amount of time. The younger a child is during the divorce, the more he or she may be affected. Also, the more change children are forced to go through, like a divorce followed by a remarriage, the more difficulty they may have finishing school.

6. A propensity for crime

In 2009, the law firm Mishcon de Reya polled 2,000 people who had experienced divorce as a child in the preceding 20 years. And the results did not paint a positive picture of their experiences. The subjects reported witnessing aggression (42 percent), were forced to comfort an upset parent (49 percent), and had to lie for one or the other (24 percent). The outcome was one in 10 turned to crime, and 8 percent considered suicide.

7. Higher risk of stroke

In 2010, researchers from the University of Toronto found a strong link between divorce and adult risk of stroke. However, the vast majority of adults whose parents divorced did not have strokes. "Let's make sure we don't have mass panic," said lead researcher Esme Fuller-Thompson. "We don't know divorce causes stroke, we just know this association exists." She says the relationship could be due to exposure to stress, which can change a child's physiology. She also noted that the time at which these children experienced divorce was in the 1950s, when it wasn't as socially accepted as it is today.

8. Greater chance of getting divorced

University of Utah research Nicholas H. Wolfinger in 2005 released a study showing that children of divorce are more likely to divorce as adults. Despite aspiring to stable relationships, children of divorce are more likely to marry as teens, as well as marry someone who also comes from a divorced family. Wolfinger's research suggests that couples in which one spouse has divorced parents may be up to twice as likely to divorce. If both partners experienced divorce as children they are three times more likely to divorce themselves. Wolfinger said one of the reasons is that children from unstable families are more likely to marry young.

9. An early death

And rounding out the dreary research is an eight-decade study and book called The Longevity Project by Howard Friedman and Leslie Martin. Starting in 1921, researchers tracked some 1,500 boys and girls throughout their lives. More than one-third of the participants experienced either parental divorce or the death of a parent before the age of 21. But it was only the children of divorced families who died on average almost five years earlier than children whose parents did not divorce. The deaths were from causes both natural and unnatural, but men were more likely to die of accidents or violence. Generally, divorce lowered the standard of living for the children, which made a particular difference in the life longevity of women.


Thursday, 14 September 2017

How to Handle a Bitter Ex-Wife in a Divorce

A divorce is one of the most difficult experiences a person can face. In the article, "The Influence of Divorce on Men's Health" in the Journal of Men's Health, ending a marriage can have negative physical, emotional and spiritual effects and that divorced men tend toward ailments that range from the common cold to life-threatening conditions such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, stroke, cancer and heart attacks. Men who have gone through a divorce are also more likely to engage in substance abuse, experience depression and are 39 percent more likely to commit suicide. Divorced men may find themselves struggling to manage their interactions with a bitter ex-wife, but some tactics may make the transition smoother.

Take the High Road

It may be difficult, but taking the high road when dealing with a bitter ex-wife may be best. It may be helpful to think about the reasons for her behavior. In his 2012 book, "Renegotiating Family Relationships: Divorce, Child Custody and Mediation," Robert E. Emery emphasizes the importance of understanding the grieving process and emotions common during a divorce. Showing empathy and refusing to engage in conflict is not about making excuses for your ex-wife’s bad behavior -- it’s about preventing the further escalation of your issues. Adding fuel to the fire will only make things worse.

Avoid Bad-Mouthing Your Ex

When speaking to your children, friends, family or coworkers, avoid saying negative things about your ex-wife. Dr. Richard A. Warshak's book, "Divorce Poison: How to Protect Your Family from Bad-mouthing and Brainwashing," sheds light on how children can become confused, upset and alienated by hearing one parent say unkind things about the other. You may be frustrated by your ex-wife, but it's best to share those thoughts with a trusted professional, rather than burden those around you.

Keep Your Temper Under Control

If you’re in the middle of a divorce, chances are that you are upset about a few things, which, of course, may only become worse by frequent confrontations with your ex-wife. Keeping your cool during altercations is essential -- not only for everyone’s safety -- but to establish peace. To avoid retaliating, address any issues that trigger your own anger. When she realizes that her actions will not result in you having a meltdown, she may be less likely to continue those behaviors.

Consider Mediation

The American Association of Marital and Family Therapy suggests enlisting the assistance of a professional with experience in helping couples through exceptionally difficult divorces can be extremely helpful. Mediation is a short-term, structured process in which the former partners meet with an impartial third person. The goal is to develop more effective strategies for co-parenting, managing finances and other issues.