Barcarolle No. 3 in G-flat Major, Op. 42

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BMI of the children of the separated parents becomes significantly higher 24 months after the separation in comparison to children whose parents stay together. The differences in the probability of children becoming overweight or obese became statistically significant 36 months after the separation. The authors add that their findings may not account for the full negative effects of parental separation, as the study focuses on children up to the age of 11, but not later.

Intervening early could help to prevent—or at least attenuate—the process that leads some children to develop unhealthy obesity. Do Children Carry the Weight of Divorce? Regarding the abuse of children in situations where a father figure was missing regardless to divorce, a big research on behalf of the Pentagon [ 35 ] found that children of parents serving in the military — were prone to abuse and neglect from their mothers when their fathers were at war in Iraq or Afghanistan.

According to the study, it was found that when fathers were stationed during war far from home, the mothers confessed that they gave inappropriate treatment to their children 3 times more than compared to the period fathers were at home. During these periods, when the fathers were not at home, mothers who were home alone, have neglected their children four times more than usual and abused them physically twice more than usual. The importance of the contact with the father: Studies in psychology during the past 25 years indicate that the father importance in the life of his children is no less than that of the mother.

In the article [ 12 ] of Kelly, she emphasizes that in the past, divorce cases were mostly in extreme cases of abandonment, alcoholism, mental illness, neglect etc. In these circumstances, there was no expectation that the father will maintain continuous contact with the children. The children who had good connection with their fathers felt seeing their dad so little was intolerable, and the younger boys felt a sense of dread that their father abandoned them.

In a study done in [ 36 ] among young adults, it was observed that as these people stayed longer with their fathers during their childhood after the divorce, so their relationship with their fathers were better at reaching maturity period as is their general medical condition. Bad relations between children and fathers — predicted worse health in adulthood. Parental alienation syndrome: Parental alienation syndrome is a childhood disorder that appears almost exclusively in contexts of struggles over the child.

In this disorder, one parent the parent alienating makes defamation campaign against the other parent the alienated parent, victim. Despite controversy over Gardner [ 39 ] many articles were written on this topic, including in Israel [ 40 , 41 ]. False allegations of sexual abuse: This phenomenon of false allegations of sexual and physical abuse of children made by their parents against their other parent in divorced families —is growing in recent years.

Some scholars see this as an epidemic that is spreading [ 42 - 44 ]. Cooke and Cooke [ 45 ] noted in their study that clinical and statistical findings indicate that there is a high probability that charges are likely to be false accusations, in the circumstances of custody and divorce battles. In most cases the charges are of the mother towards her husband or former husband during or after divorce. There is no doubt that these allegations — have an impact on the deepening conflict between parents and as a result they have an effect on children who are exposed to conflicts and tension between parents.

The effect of the divorce process on different children in the same family: A study from [ 46 ] found that different siblings experience the divorce process in the same way as regards to the education level of children and their chance to get divorced in the future.

Various studies [ 47 ] checked also if it possible to relate the psychopathology and a tendency to delinquency among teenagers in situations of divorce to a genetic tendency and not to the divorce process itself. This hypothesis was tested in the families that adopted children as compared to families with biological children who have experienced divorce. The similar results which were obtained in the 2 types of families demonstrated that the experience of the divorce process is the one that affects juvenile delinquency during adolescence and not the genetic tendency in those families.

Although the main effects of the divorce process are evident in the behavioral and emotional field, physical morbidity of the children was also described in these situations. A large research from Korea [ 51 ] among students described that children and adolescents have an increased risk of developing ADHD in families experiencing situations of separation and divorce.

Advice to Parents from Children of Divorce

An increased risk of hyperactivity and behavior problems among preschoolers was described in families that have experienced separation or intense family conflicts [ 52 ]. Another study from France [ 53 ] examined the relationship between adverse family environment during childhood and self-perceived health in adulthood. It was found that exposure to separation and divorce in childhood was associated with worse health perception in older age. The study referred to the mental health as well as to the physical status. It was found that this parameter was influenced by the relationship between parent and child, and whether that person was a witness to violence between the parents during childhood.

A study from Spain [ 54 ] that examined the quality of life QOF as perceived by children themselves-reported higher QOF in children to married parents than those of divorced parents. Children who reported on a conflict between the parents after divorce had the lowest QOF.

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7 Myths About How Divorce Hurts Children and Parents | Fatherly

When parents separate, children typically enter into new living arrangements with each parent, according to a frame determined by the parents themselves, or in accordance with the recommendations and decisions of lawyers, therapists, or the courts. Most of these decisions were based on traditional beliefs and opinions in relation to the parental visit arrangements after the separation.

This parenting program was simple to implement, not demanding legal or psychological analysis, reflected the non-established belief that children will be harmed if they have more than one home [ 55 ]. Joint legal custody enables both parents to participate in important decisions concerning their children e. Although the encouraging changes, as a result of divorce research that emphasizes the importance of ongoing contact with the father to the well-being of the child, only a minority of children have satisfying weekly contact with the non-custodial parent usually the father after separation.

This is despite the data showing that the traditional arrangements lead to decreased contact and closeness between the children and the non-custodial parent [ 55 , 62 - 66 ]. In their article, Brinig and Buckley [ 67 ] claimed that like everything else in divorce, child custody struggle, often looks like a game of everything or nothing, where one spouse loses and one win.

In joint custody, both parents have access to their children and share the responsibility and shared commitments to their growth. Joint custody reduces the pain of divorce for children. For a child, a sole custody, can look like the death of the non-custodial parent, and in many ways, it is. Turkat describes [ 68 ] the problems existing with visiting arrangements. In her book she emphasize that wide visiting arrangements with the non-custodial parent, is important for the parent and child.

Earlier studies found that most children reported the loss of the non-custodial parent as the most negative aspect of divorce and that they were disappointed from the visiting arrangements. They described their father as peripheral in terms of closeness and emotional support [ 62 , 69 , 70 ]. Recent studies reported that half of children and adolescents have stated that they want a closer relationship with their fathers, and onethird of them wanted this relationship to be longer.


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  • In several studies [ 5 , 70 , 75 , 76 ] bad relationships were observed between children who have reached the age of young- adults and their fathers, especially lack of affection and trust, compared to young-adults in families where the parents are married. However, in cases where the adolescents had a good relationship with their father at time of breakup and frequent contacts with the fathers, there was no difference between these young adults and adolescents in non- divorced families [ 77 ].

    For most children to families undergoing separation or divorce -their thoughts regarding the living arrangements and their flexibility, will be taken into account by the parents [ 15 , 71 , 77 - 79 ]. Adolescents tended to see their living arrangements as satisfying when they could see the noncustodial parent whenever desired [ 79 ]. In the article of Bauserman [ 80 ], the author states that children in joint custody are adapting better than children who grow up with a single custodial parent and the same as children to married parents.

    Separate comparisons were made about adaptation, family relationships, selfconfidence, emotional and behavioral adjustment and adaptation to a divorce. The results matched the assumption that shared custody can benefit children, probably because they help to maintain an ongoing positive relationship with both parents. The risk of adaptation problems, social problems and academic problems is 2 times higher in children of divorced parents, compared to families where the parents are married [ 5 , 14 , 81 , 82 ].

    Factors that reduce the risk of these issues include: warm and competent parents, lack of depression and other psychological disorders among parents, low conflict, and certain aspects of living arrangements after separation [ 20 ]. Not only the frequency of visits is important, but also the quality of the relationship between parent and child, the type of parenthood provided by fathers, and the length of the contact. All of these parameters are related to the adjustment of children [ 55 ].

    In situations of low conflict, and in the case of boys and younger children, frequent and regular contact with fathers was linked to better adaptability of the children [ 73 , 83 , 84 ]. When children have a close relationship with their father and the fathers are actively involved in their lives, it is associated with a significantly better adaptability and improved academic achievement in school aged children, compared to children with less involved fathers.

    Children of Divorcing Families: A Clinical Perspective

    Active involvement in these cases includes help in homework, emotional support, and authoritative parenting setting boundaries appropriately, non-compulsive discipline, and setting rules of behavior. In order to maintain the connections created with both parents prior to separation, infants and toddlers — should be able to continue frequent contacts, including overnight stays, with the non-custodial parent, and to avoid prolonged separations from either one of their parents [ 22 , 89 - 91 ].

    Early studies reported better adaptation of children of joint physical custody compared to children who were in sole custody and better satisfaction of the children in relation to joint custody. However, samples were relatively small [ 55 ]. Meta-analysis of 33 studies [ 55 ] comparing joint custody to maternal sole custody has shown that children that in joint custody arrangements have adapted better examining many measures of adaptation: general adaptation, behavioral adaptation, emotional adaptation, self-esteem, family relationships, and adapting to the divorced situation.

    Two other studies found similarly that shared physical custody is more useful for children and adolescents compared to maternal custody in many individual measures when the conflict was low, but these benefits decreased in cases of high levels of conflict [ 92 ]. In a recently published large consensus report [ 93 ] of researches and practitioners it was clearly stated that, in normal circumstances, the evidence supports shared residential arrangements for children under 4 years of age whose parents live apart from each other.

    The report quotes the studies that identify overnights as a protective factor associated with increased father commitment to child rearing and reduced incidence of father drop-out. In the absence of studies that demonstrate any net risk of overnights, the writers ask the policymakers to recognize that depriving young children of overnights with their fathers could compromise the quality of developing father-child relationships.

    They conclude that there is no sufficient evidence to support postponing the introduction of regular and frequent involvement, including overnights, of both parents with their babies and toddlers. The committee has released an interim report for public comments in April , and a completed report in September The committee argued that there is no place to set a general rule as the one that exists today, in which children under the age of 6 years are automatically staying in their mother custody. An extensive empirical literature exists concerning the identification of factors that promote good adaptation and recovery or otherwise increase the risk for children of divorce.

    Among these, there are factors related to the living arrangements of the children, especially the restrictions that exist in terms of traditional arrangements in families with supporting fathers. In General, the empirical literature shows many advantages for children including psychological adaptation and better behavioral and academic achievement when living arrangements of the children allow the supporting and loving fathers to be involved actively in the life of their children on a weekly basis and regularly. Furthermore, the children themselves want more contact with the non-custodial parent as compared to what typically was agreed between parents or by the courts and many of them prefer the concept of shared physical custody.

    Israel also began recently, finally, like other enlightened countries, step towards a sane and fairer future concerning the recommendations in situations of separation and divorce. Bronshtein E A guide to social workers in the parent-child meeting centers, Ministry of welfare p: Psychol Bull Fam Psychol Amato P The consequences of divorce for adults and children. Journal of Marriage and Family Let your kids know that even though the physical circumstances of the family unit will change, they can continue to have healthy, loving relationships with both of their parents.

    Physical closeness—in the form of hugs, pats on the shoulder, or simple proximity—has a powerful way of reassuring your child of your love. Be honest. When kids raise concerns or anxieties, respond truthfully. Help your kids adjust to change by providing as much stability and structure as possible in their daily lives. But creating some regular routines at each household and consistently communicating to your children what to expect will provide your kids with a sense of calm and stability.

    Kids feel safer and more secure when they know what to expect next. Maintaining routine also means continuing to observe rules, rewards, and discipline with your children. Resist the temptation to spoil kids during a divorce by not enforcing limits or allowing them to break rules. The first safety instruction for an airplane emergency is to put the oxygen mask on yourself before you put it on your child.

    When it comes to helping your kids through your divorce, the take home message is: take care of yourself so that you can be there for your kids. The breakup of a relationship can trigger all sorts of painful and unsettling emotions. As well as grieving the loss of your relationship, you may feel confused, isolated, and fearful about the future. Exercise often and eat a healthy diet. And although cooking at home or learning to cook for one involves more effort than ordering in, eating healthfully will make you feel better , inside and out—so skip the junk and convenience food.

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    See friends often. Keep a journal. Writing down your feelings, thoughts, and moods can help you release tension, sadness, and anger.

    Loss of Interest in Social Activity

    Lean on friends. Never vent negative feelings to your child.