GOOD PARENTING THROUGH YOUR DIVORCE: How to Recognize, Encourage and Respond to Your Child's Feelings and Help Them Get Through Your Divorce
Mary Ellen Hannibal, . . Marlowe & Co., $15.95 (304pp) ISBN 978-1-56924-555-2
Drawing from the national Kids' Turn Workshop, a 15-year old program that guides kids and parents as they deal with divorce, Hannibal focuses on tenets that will help parents treat children fairly and honestly. Using research, expert advice, and feedback from parents and kids who have attended the six-week workshops, Hannibal offers ways to help youngsters manage practical and emotional issues (such as adjusting to two homes or wishing their parents would reunite). She advises parents not to fight in front of the children, encourages a close relationship between children and both parents and warns against using children as mediators. (In a high-conflict situation, she advises, custody and visitation arrangements should require minimal exposure between parents.) According to the author, universal themes emerge for most children after a divorce; for instance, most kids say they are unhappy when their parents fight, feel afraid, and don't want to be caught in the middle. To address these feelings, Hannibal advises using a mediator to help resolve differences between co-parents (rather than litigation), and urges divorcing couples to view their future relationship as an ongoing "shared parenting project." A chapter on child development provides insight on how children in different developmental stages react to divorce, and a section on communication outlines techniques for active, receptive listening. This compassionate, upbeat guide will aid parents as they navigate the roiling waters of divorce while maintaining secure, loving moorings for their children.
Reviewed on: 12/16/2002