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First, it is important to ensure that the child has continuous and ready access to the parent with whom the child has developed an emotional attachment. Studies by Ainsworth and Bell (1970), Yarrow (1963), David and Appell (1969), Isabella and Belsky (1991), and others, point out patterns of behavior that build a child's secure attachment to a primary caregiver.
These are: 1) loving physical contact between the adult and child; 2) the caregiver's regular ability to soothe the child by holding; 3) the caregiver's sensitivity to the child's signals and the ability to time interventions in harmony with the child's rhythms; 4) the mutual delight that the adult and child have by being in each other's company; and 5) creating an environment that permits the child to derive a sense of the consequences of his/her own actions.
A variety of deep emotional wounds are created before, during, and after a divorce. Reprinted with permission of the author and La Leche League International. Haiman has been a childrearing consultant for over 30 years.
Father and mother often lock horns in a bitter struggle to determine the conditions under which they can spend time with their children.
As time goes on and anger dissipates, parents may develop some version of "cooperative parenting." In this arrangement, parents communicate directly and in a business-like manner regarding the children and co-parenting schedules.
Marriage and family therapists can be helpful to families as they formulate or define their post-divorce parenting relationships.
A majority of divorces occur in families with children under the age of 18.
Divorce propels adults and children into numerous adjustments and challenges.