Parenting after Divorce: A Guide to Resolving Conflicts and Meeting Your Children's Needs

Parenting after Divorce: A Guide to Resolving Conflicts and Meeting Your Children's Needs

by Philip M. Stahl
     
 
Divorces rarely work out perfectly.

In the real world, divorcing parents are often in conflict, and lots of arguments are the rule, not the exception. "However, if parents continue to argue after the divorce," says Dr. Philip Stahl, "the children will suffer." Stahl knows parents are not perfect, and in this book he shows imperfect parents how to settle their

Overview

Divorces rarely work out perfectly.

In the real world, divorcing parents are often in conflict, and lots of arguments are the rule, not the exception. "However, if parents continue to argue after the divorce," says Dr. Philip Stahl, "the children will suffer." Stahl knows parents are not perfect, and in this book he shows imperfect parents how to settle their differences in the best interests of their children.

Here at last is a realistic perspective on divorce and its effects on children. Parenting After Divorce features knowledgeable advice from an expert custody evaluator. Packed with real-world examples, this book avoids idealistic assumptions, and offers practical help from divorcing parents, custody evaluators, family court counselors, marriage and family therapists, and others interested in the well-being of children.

Dr. Stahl's advice will help you avoid the dozen most common mistakes that divorcing parents make and spare you the emotional and financial damage they can cost you and your children. His 30-point "sample parenting plan" sets a new standard for families who want to bring order out of the usual chaos of parenting after divorce. The chapter, "What Your Kids Really Think," is by itself worth the price of the book.

This is a powerful, practical book that every divorcing parent should read while there's still time to ensure a secure and healthy future for their children.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Library Journal
Stressing the need to let go of anger toward the other parent, to do one's personal best regardless of the other parent, and to choose the best for the child, Stahl, a psychologist, therapist, and divorced father, offers solid advice for everyone involved. First and foremost among his suggestions is the development of a detailed parenting plan, often worked out with a mediator, to help avoid many day-to-day conflicts between ex-spouses. Recognizing the need to make changes to the plan as children grow, Stahl suggests reviewing it each year. Children should not be treated like property, he advises, and the percentage of physical custody for each parent is not as vital as a working arrangement that enables the child to develop in an age-appropriate fashion, with friends and extracurricular activities. Neither a research study nor a memoir, Parenting After Divorce supports the findings in recent research studies such as Judith Wallerstein and others' The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce (LJ 9/15/00) and Stephanie Staal's The Love They Lost (LJ 9/15/00), which recognize the intense, often unspoken inner conflict of children when they have no voice and parents' needs supersede theirs. Recommended for all public libraries.--Kay Brodie, Chesapeake Coll., Wye Mills, MD Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
"Your divorce doesn't have to damage your children," writes the author in this practical guide for divorced parents. Every year in the United States more than one million children see their parents divorce. Here, in straightforward, almost simplistic language, Stahl offers parents the advice and strategies gleaned from twenty years as a psychologist, therapist, and custody evaluator working with children and families of divorce.

Some of his advice ranges from the common-sensical—"Avoid conflict in front of your kids"—to the speculative: "Take him (your son) on hikes, bicycle trips or camping. Consider yourself the 'outdoor fun' parent."

In general, though, Stahl offers pragmatic, intelligent suggestions for resolving the thorny issues that inevitably arise during the breakup of a family. The book includes sections on parenting alone, coping with extremely difficult spouses, reducing competition between parents, and working within the court system. Particularly helpful is the section on resolving scheduling conflicts, an unavoidable problem in nearly every joint-custody situation. Stahl includes a sample schedule calendar.

Another especially useful section is a chapter on how divorce affects children of various ages, from very young infants all the way through the late teen years. The chapter includes several pages of questions children might ask along with healthy, tactful suggested answers. The language for some of these answers seems stilted, but the ideas behind them are sound. To the question "Why do I have to go over to Dad's? I don't like him," Stahl proposes this response: "I think we need to talk about all of your feelings.

What's the problem at Dad's? Can you talk with him about any of this? You know, lots of times we don't like some things about someone, but then we find a way to work it out. Relationships aren't always easy, even with people we're close to."

At times, Parenting After Divorce has the feel of an extended version of "Everything I Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten"—play nice, share, don't fight. There is no bad advice here, however, and if all parents would follow Stahl's blueprint as they split up, divorce would be far easier on many children. The central premise of his book—that parents' top priority during a divorce should be to minimize the pain for their children—is inarguable.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781886230262
Publisher:
Impact Publishers, Incorporated
Publication date:
10/28/2000
Series:
Rebuilding Books Series
Pages:
178
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.30(d)

What People are saying about this

Arline S. Rotman
Hon. Arline S. Rotman, Associate Justice, Family Court, Boston, MA
"A treasure trove of practical, down to earth, easy to understand information."
Andrew Schepard
Andrew Schepard, J.D., Hofstra University
"A wise and practical book for divorcing parents..."
Rhonda B. Barovsky
Rhonda B. Barovsky, LCSW, BCD, Program Manager, Family Court Services, San Francisco, CA
"This is one of the best books ever written for separating or divorced parents who want to create the healthiest family life possible for their children to grow and thrive in."
Phil Bushard
Phil Bushard, Past President, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
"An important read!"

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