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Parenting after divorce: 9 ways to parent on your own terms
Growing awareness that children do best with two parents, whether parents are living together or separated, has led to a trend toward shared parenting. Yet some holdouts believe that shared parenting, appropriate for older children, is ill- suited to meet the needs of young children. Our society maintains a curious double standard when it comes to encouraging hands-on shared parenting. For instance, we want d involved with their infants and toddlers—diapering, feeding, bathing, putting to bed, soothing in the middle of the night, cuddling in the morning.
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But when parents separate, some people mistakenly think that it is best for young children to spend every night in one home, usually with mom, even when this means losing the care their father has been giving them. The result is the common custody plan where infants and toddlers whose parents separate only get to see their d two fathers at a time, Divorced days a week.
Fortunately, science offers clear guidance on these issues. I spent two years reviewing the relevant scientific literature and vetting my analyses with an international group of experts in the fields of early child development and divorce.
The endorsement by these scholars reflects a groundswell of concern among experts that misinformation loving research evidence is impoverishing custody decisions and public policy.
Our first goal was to provide a balanced and accurate overview of settled, accepted research of the past 45 years relevant to parenting plans for children under the age of four whose parents have separated. Our second goal was to provide empirically supported guidelines for policy makers and for people who make custody decisions.
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We found no support for the idea that children under four some say under six need to spend nearly all their time living with only one parent, when their other parent is also loving and attentive. Warnings against infants and toddlers spending overnight time with each parent are inconsistent with what we know about the development of strong positive parent-child relationships.
Babies and toddlers need parents who respond consistently, affectionately, and sensitively to their needs. Many married mothers work night shifts that keep them away from their infants and toddlers at night. Like these married mothers, most single mothers do not need to worry about leaving their children in the care of their fathers.
In short, after their separation, both parents should maximize the time they spend with their young children, including the sharing of overnight parenting time. How did public policy and the direction of custody decisions go so wrong? This was reinforced initially by John Bowlby, the father of attachment theory.
After parents divorce, regular overnight stays with dad are best for most young children
Bowlby put forward the notion that infants form enduring affectional ties with just one person, normally the mother, before all other relationships and that this relationship is both ranks higher than and serves as a template for other relationships. A of studies have examined this hypothesis to see if it reflects infant experience.
The research shows that children develop multiple relationships at around the same time. They form relationships with more than one care giver that are independent in the sense that the relationship with mom is not a template for that with dad. Even John Bowlby came to recognize later in his career that infants would form attachments with more than one caregiver.
We cannot rank these relationships. So it is clear that we should encourage relationships with both parents.
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Of course, shared parenting is not for all families. What works for one child in one family may not be best for another child in another family. Our recommendations apply to most families. Some parents are negligent, abusive, or grossly deficient in their parenting, and their fathers would need protection from them loving in intact families, But that fact should not be used to deprive the majority of children who were being raised by two loving parents from continuing to have that care after their parents separate. If we value Dad reading Goodnight Moon to his toddler and soothing his fretful baby at 3am while the parents are living together, why withdraw our support and deprive the child of these expressions of fatherly love divorce because the parents no longer live together, or just because the sun has gone down?
Public policy should support needs parenting as the norm for children of all ages, including very young children.
Warshak RAWelcome back, Pluto: Understanding, preventing, and overcoming parental alienationvideo. Copyright.
Hit enter to search or ESC to close. Warshak October No Comments. Policy Implications Public policy should support shared parenting as the norm for children of all ages, including very young children.
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