Currently, about forty percent of marriages end in divorce. Partners typically go through tedious amounts of negotiation over the division of their assets and property, and eventually decide on a fair agreement. Unfortunately, couples with children must also choose the terms of custody, including which parent the children will live with, how often the children will see the other parent, which parent makes health decisions, and more.
Karen Bonnell, Co-parent Coach and author, shares two major child-related decisions that must be made before or during the divorce process. The first is where and with whom the kids will spend holidays, birthdays, and school breaks. Bonnell suggests that for the first few years after separating, families celebrate events together with both parents, giving children time to adjust to the new situation. The second major decision is how parents will handle new relationships. Bonnell recommends that parents try to introduce any new partners as friends first, to allowing time for kids to adjust to a new parental figure.
Although co-parenting may be daunting or seem like a giant headache, Bonnell says that the biggest priorities should be the health and safety of the children, and that it is a good idea to involve a neutral third party in the toughest decisions. While divorices are difficult and stressful, good planning will benefit the entire family. Studies show that children raised by separated parents often become good leaders and are able to manage many different situations well. Bonnell reminds parents that the best thing we can do for our children is to remind them that they are loved and they are not to blame for their parents’ divorce.
Karen Bonnell, Co-parent Coach, author of The Co-Parents’ Handbook: Raising well-adjusted, resilient and resourceful kids in a two-home family from little ones to young adults.
Science enables us to know much more than ever before. We can be aware of what disorders we could pass on to our kids and we can conduct screenings on children to discover irregularities in their genes. Such screenings can help doctors catch issues early but they can also put a huge burden on families.
A Writer’s World: Jonathan Lethem on literature and his decades-long career: Jonathan Lethem is the award-winning author of Motherless Brooklyn and other novels. His latest book is an inside look at his thoughts on literature. He talks to us about the importance of reading, what inspires him, and how he feels about tough critics.
Gene Crunching: The ethics and impact of genetic screenings on children Science enables us to know much more than ever before. We can be aware of what disorders we could pass on to our kids and we can conduct screenings on children to discover irregularities in their genes. Such screenings can help doctors catch issues early…but they can also put a huge burden on families.
During the holidays, many parents fret over the materialistic messages their children are exposed to. We talk to a mom and an author who together have created a children’s book and game designed to make giving back to others a fun pursuit.
Synopsis: Recess helps kids unwind during the school day, but it’s much more than just a time to exercise. We talk to two recess “specialists” about the mental as well as the physical benefits of recess, and learn about some recess activities that help a child be more creative, more social as well as more physically active.
Host: Marty Peterson. Guests: Dr. Gail Gross, psychologist specializing in child development and families, author of How to Build Your Baby’s Brain and The Only Way Out is Through; Dan DiSorbo, co-author and illustrator of the book Recess: From dodgeball to double-dutch: classic games for players of today.
Synopsis: Character in a person is something we admire, and something we all would like to think that our kids grow up to achieve. But how do you teach them character? What are some of the virtues that go hand-in-hand with character and how can we instill them in our kids? We talk to two people who work with character education efforts to find out how two very different organizations are teaching kids teamwork, responsibility, fairness, friendship and other character traits in some very trying environments.
Host: Gary Price. Guests: Glenn Wilke, Executive Director of the Midtown Educational Foundation, Chicago; Cynthia Levinson, journalist, author of the book, Watch Out for Flying Kids! How two circuses, two countries and nine kids confront conflict and build community.