All articles in the category of

Family Specialist

Divorce and Loss

In divorce, when a child has two involved parents, that child develops a life that of his or her own that doesn't involve both parents. Each parent must learn to tolerate the loss of knowing everything that is going on for their child. It is so hard to realize that your child has a life that you don't know about. But that's what happens when there is a divorce and your child has a good relationship with each parent. In most divorce situations, regardless of the parenting plan, children usually spend some, maybe alternating weekends with the other parent. If [...]

Rules to Keep Kids Out of the Middle

It is well known that kids must be kept out of the middle of divorced parents for them to grow up happy and healthy. Here are 4 Rules to follow which can be very helpful. I have found that sometimes it is easier if parents are given a "set of rules" to keep kids out of the middle. These rules can be a reminder and keep parents on track even when they feel angry and upset. I suggest they be kept in a place where they can be looked at frequently. Sometimes, it takes self control not to express angry [...]

The Importance of the Other Mother

When two women have a child together, there is often the question of who is the "real" mother and who is the "other" mother. In families where there are two mothers, it is important to understand that they are both equal parents, regardless of who gave birth to the child. Of course, carrying a child for nine months is a bonding process and the woman who gives birth feels very connected to her child. But if it is a good relationship between the women, the non-biological partner also feels a connection as she, too, has gone through the process. Once [...]

Keep the Kids Out of the Middle

When parents are divorcing, children often get pulled into the middle of their arguments. It is so important to keep them out ! Divorce is a tough process. It is difficult, painful and expensive both emotionally and financially. Often times, parents, and good parents who care about their kids, end up putting their kids in the middle. Sometimes it is purposeful to show the ex they have the kids on their side or to validate their feelings. But sometimes, it is not conscious, as people are so hurt and angry that they say things to the kids not realizing the [...]

Joint Custody

Joint custody is sharing the children after divorce, but what does it really look like? And is it good for the kids? This is a question I am frequently asked. Joint custody can be either joint legal or joint physical custody or both. In NY at this time, joint legal custody is often the presumption, with both parents sharing the joint responsibility of decision making for their children. This means that neither parent can independenty decide any major decisions about the health, education or welfare of their children. Both parents must communciate together about what schools the children will attend, [...]

Should Parents Stay Together for the Kids?

I am frequently asked by parents who are having difficulty in their relationships if they should stay together for the kids. What's the right thing to do? What's the best time to split up? Well, as you can imagine, there's no easy answer to these questions. Should parents stay together for the sake of the kids? Well, no, but they should certainly try to work on the relationship because they have kids. Divorces, even amiable ones, are hard on everyone, and separating from a marriage should be a decision that is well thought out and planned. It is not an [...]

What Do the Children Know?

Children of all ages are aware of their parent's actions. Often parents think that the kids are young and that they don't understand, but they do..... When parents are unhappy with one another, the kids know it. Parents often think that they are "protecting" their children from the reality of their situations by not talking to their spouse about issues in front of the kids. but even if a couple doesn't overtly fight in front of their children, the children can pick up a chilly vibe, a tense environment or a hostile feeling. Children know their parents very well and [...]

The Kids Will Be All Right

The biggest anxiety for parents getting a divorce is whether the kids will be all right. But will they? And what can parents do to help them be all right? There are actually many things that parents can do. The most important thing is not to put the kids in the middle....What I mean by that is never question a child about the other parent. Even if you're dying to know if daddy has a girlfriend, don't ask your child! When a child is questioned s/he's put in the middle and feels uncomfortable. Children love both of their parents and [...]

Telling Your Children About Your Divorce

Getting divorced is one of the most difficult experiences people can have in life. On the stress scales, it's right up there with death. And the hardest part is telling your children. As a child specialist, one of the things I do is help parents develop the story to tell their children. We always want children to know the truth, but sometimes not the whole truth, and certainly not the details of the truth. Information given is based on the child's age and their understanding of relationships. Most important is to let the kids know that they had nothing to [...]

Go to Top