|Sponsored by the HealthcareTrainingInstitute.org providing Quality Education since 1979|
Concerned parents realize the importance of trying to help their children come through the separation with as few battle scars as possible. One of the professionals multiroles in helping a family through the parental separation is the minimization of possible negative effects on children. We strongly advocate a preventive approach, reaching parents early in the separation/divorce process and educating them in general parenting skills and in areas specifically related to divorce and children. However, we know that most parents do not present themselves or their children to mental health professionals until they perceive a crisis or there is chronic discomfort. Then, the educational process may have to wait until crisis intervention or other therapeutic techniques have reduced the florid symptoms.
Parents Communicate with Their Children About the Divorce
There are several ways in which parents can learn to communicate with their children, and to support them through their crisis or readjustment period. One approach is to have the parent enlist a therapists professiorial opinion about the appropriateness of including the child in some form of therapy: individual, family, or group therapy. An alternate approach is for the parent to work with the therapist toward understanding the childs needs and toward learning skills needed for effectively supporting the child.
When possible, the children need to hear (preferably from the parents), just prior to the separation, of the inevitability of this occurrence and the decisions and plans. Jacobson (1978b), who studied the impact of interparent hostility on the children noted: If attitudes emerge that lead to facing a situation realistically, rather than those of denial before the event occurs, the chances of developing symptoms can be reduced (p.177). Children are usually aware that something is wrong in the family and even spy and eavesdrop to try to find out what they need to know. The following example illustrates the dilemma for some children:
Jerry, an 11-year-old, was chastised by his mother for eavesdropping. In his group counseling session, he discussed his predicament: Neither his mother nor his father told him of impending changes in his life that concerned him. He knew that his mother was considering remarriage but did not know her decision or when the marriage might take place. He knew his father was thinking of moving away but when questioning his father, he was told not to ask questions. His dilemma was to eavesdrop and risk punishment or to live with his anxiety of not knowing about his future.
children in the group suggested to Jerry that he ask his mother about her plans.
The group leader called Jerrys mother in to discuss the impact of her behavior
on Jerry and to encourage her to be more open with him.
Parent Who Does Not Tell Enough
Parent reticence may be caused by the discomfort that results from the belief that the information must be presented in a strong way, without tears. In reality, the parents tears and emotional display give the children nonverbal permission to have feelings of their own. The fact that the parent is explaining the separation implies strength in itself.
The Parent Who Tells Too Much
On the other hand, parents often cannot hide the truth from the children. If the reason for the separation is alcoholism or physical abuse, the children have seen or heard evidence of it and the accuracy of their perceptions needs to be verified.
Thirteen-year-old Jane was referred for therapy after several incidents of acting out behavior. In the course of treatment, she acknowledged the connection between her behavior and her anger at her divorced mother. Then Jane revealed that she was certain that her mother was to blame in the divorce because she had an affair with Janes diving coach. Janes mother had repeatedly denied the affair. Finally, Jane confronted her mother with her anger and her reasons for feeling so certain. Her mother admitted that Janes perception was accurate. Jane felt relieved, dealt in therapy with her anger at having been lied to, and the acting out ceased.
older the children, and the more to which they have been privy, the more complete
the explanation of the reasons for the separation need to be. Otherwise, the children
will become distrustful of the veracity of their parents statements to them.
Reflection Exercise #4
Others who bought this Domestic Violence Course
Booklet for this course | Domestic Violence
Forward to Section 7
Back to Section 5
Table of Contents
A domestic violence bill named for a woman who was shot and killed by her boyfriend is now law. Gov. Roy Cooper signed the measure known as Britny's Law on Tuesday.
A bill in the State Senate rules committee would help families of domestic violence homicide victims seek first degree murder charges.
North Carolina is among the top 10 states with the highest number of reported human trafficking cases , according to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center . Experts say the number of major interstates that cross through the state, the large agricultural population, and the state’s strategic location along the East Coast contribute to the issue. Host Frank Stasio talks with legal experts, victim services advocates, and a law enforcement officer about human trafficking in the state. Victim-services advocates Karen Arias of Western North Carolina Human Trafficking Rapid Response Team and Mamie Adams , coordinator of Working to End Sex Trafficking in North Carolina, discuss the experiences and challenges faced by trafficking survivors in the state. Major Richard Hoffman of the Raleigh Police Department talks about the role of law enforcement in investigating and stopping human trafficking, and his work on trafficking cases. And Caitlin Ryland from Legal Aid of North Carolina talks
The year is coming to an end, and “The State of Things” staff is taking a moment to reflect on some of the year’s most memorable conversations. Producer Anita Rao’s favorite segments include a conversation commemorating Yusor Abu-Salha , one of the three Muslim students shot and killed in Chapel Hill in February. Rao also chose a piece that explores body image, fat shaming, and the social history of women’s bodies . She also picked a segment that shares the stories of three Latina women who work as house cleaners in Durham , and one that looks at how domestic violence impacted one couple’s life and relationship . She ends the hour talking about a conversation with Avett Brothers’ Cellist Joe Kwon . Host Frank Stasio talks with Producer Anita Rao about her favorite conversations of the year.
This is a rebroadcast of a program that aired earlier this year . CJ Scarlet is an entrepreneur who believes that technology can curb violence. She founded the company 10 for Humanity that aims to use emerging technology to reduce acts of crime and violence by 10 percent in the next decade, starting with the Tiger Eye Sensor , a wearable personal security device that will record video footage and call the police when a wearer yells “help.” Scarlet’s personal and professional experiences have informed the design and implementation of this sensor. She survived multiple assaults in her adolescence and early adulthood and has worked with victims of crime and assault for two decades, as a victims advocate and as the director of victim’s issues at the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office . She is full of unexpected stories, ranging from her experience as a firefighter to her day-to-day life as a photojournalist for the Marine Corps. Host Frank Stasio talks to CJ Scarlet about her life,