Welcome to our webpage! We are three six graders at Chenango Bridge Elementary School. All of our parents are divorced.
This webpage is about how to cope with divorce. We all know how difficult it is to live with many different changes. We will talk about how parents and teachers and other kids can help students who are going through divorce. We also talk about kids feelings about divorce and things you can do to help yourself.
Divorce happens when two people decide they don't want to be married and live together any longer. Kids whose parents are going through a divorce will feel a bunch of different things. They may think that it is their fault that their parents are split. They may also think that they can do something to keep the divorce from happening. Kids can feel angry, scared, confused, worried, lonely and even happy and relieved. The thing to remember is that any feeling that you have is okay.
Here's some advice for kids whose parents are divorcing. Don't feel like it is you who is to blame for your parents getting divorced. Don't be afraid, your parents will settle it in court. Ask your parents any questions you like. If your parents feel uncomfortable you can ask them later or talk with counselor. Remember that both of your parents love you very much and will help you in any way they can. Get out of the way of any fights, and don't take messages from one parent to another. If one parent says bad things about another, respect them... if you don't it might make things worse. Ask your parents not to talk about each other behind their backs. Many kids are from divorced homes. You are not alone!
Going to court is something many kids have to do. You'll problably be nervous before you go, but don't be. It is just like telling your feelings to a parent or a counselor. You might want to bring a stuffed animal or a toy that is special to you. It also helps to take lots of deep breaths. Make sure that you don't yell or shout and try not to be too nervous. The main thing is stay calm...it helps. The judges are usually pretty nice, especially to kids, so don't worry. Don't be angry with the judge, he or she is trying to help you. If there is a choice, don't go if you're not ready. Before you go plan what you're going to say and plan how you're going to answer. Ask not to be interviewed if you don't want to be. Talk to your law guardian (the kid''s attorney) or parent for more information. GOOD LUCK!!! :)
There are different kinds of custody.There is full custody, shared custody, and full custody with visitation. The judge determines the parents' rights to visit the children. Sometimes, depending on the age of the child, the judge may ask the child which parent he/she wants to live with. This can be extremely stressfull for the child. Some parents return to court several times to challenge the child custody decision.
Many changes can occur in the child's life due to the decision of the judge. He/She may have to move out of their home and into a new home with one of their parents. This may also mean leaving friends behind and changing schools. Also, if the judge reverses the decision, they may have to move back with the first parent. Should is happen, it may harm the child emotionally. However, the court's job is to keep the child's well being in mind. This is the reason why a law guardian (lawyer) is assigned to protect the child's rights. Some courts are not quick to move children unless they are undergoing some sort of harm.
If these custody issues can be worked out between the parents without going to court, it can be less stressful for all parties involved.
/\/\/\Parents and Teachers can Help/\/\/\
Parents and teachers can help children cope with divorce. This section explains what you should include in telling your child or student while explaining divorce. This section has been divided into two sections:
1. Parents Helping their children cope
2. Teachers Helping their students cope
Parents Helping their Children Cope
Explaining divorce to your children:
You should talk with your children about the reasons for divorce. Explain that the divorce may prevent all of the fighting and arguing that had
been happening. Most children do not understand this at first and think that their parents are their worst enemies. You should explain to your children that you did not file a divorce because you do not care about them, but, you should explain that you did it because you do care for them. You should also say that it was the best thing to do to give them a happy life while growing-up and so their parents could be happy also. Mainly, you should explain what the real meaning of divorce is.
1 : the action or an instance of legally dissolving a marriage
2 : separation, severance
2divorce vb. div'orced ; div'or'cing
1: to end a marriage with (one's spouse) by divorce
a : to dissolve the marriage contract between
2 : to terminate an existing relationship or union
Many children have bad tempers after divorce. You should not necessarily punish them. Instead, explain to your children about divorce and its reasons (above). Tell them they cannot be angry because their parents separated and that it was the best thing to do. Also, many children think that it was their fault that their parents separated...You should explain that it is not their fault; it is never the child's fault.
You may want to talk to your child's teacher(s) in a private conference to see if their grades have dropped. This is a sign of trouble coping with divorce.
Teachers Helping their
Noticeable signs of a divorce in a student's family:
- A student acting very depressed
- A student's grades rapidly dropping
- A student possibly crying
- A student getting in lots of trouble (fights etc.) more than usual for that student
-Or a student's effort in his work dropping rapidly
If a student features one more of these symtoms, ask the student or student's parent(s) if there has been a divorce (to make sure you have not made a mistake). After you have confirmed that there was a divorce, ask the student if they want to talk about divorce and its meaning (for more information on this, read the parents' section above the teachers').
In case of further problems, ask the student
and the parent(s) if the child should
attend a divorce program in the school
(Banana Splits, etc...) and possibly
a program run by the local community
/\/\/\Banana Splits Corner/\/\/\
One of the best ways for kids to cope with the divorce of their parents is to help and support each other. One program which provides a support group to children in a school is called Banana Splits. The program was started over ten years ago by Elizabeth McGonagle, a faculty member of the Ballston Spa, New York, Central School District. Banana Splits has spread to several school districts thanks to Ms. McGonagle's training programs.
Banana Splits offers kids an opportunity to express their feelings in a safe and caring environment. The splits kids gain confidence in an atmosphere of their friends. They give help and support to each other under the quidance of professional school staff members. Our Banana Splits groups do projects, play games, and discuss feelings at our lunchtime meetings. The groups are small; they usually have no more than twelve members. Each kid is encourged to explore their feelings while paying attention to other kid's feelings. All of the information shared with in the group is safe---it stays within the walls of the room. This program encourages kids to talk freely about their feelings while also respecting the feelings of others. It also helps kids to communicate with each other and teaches them new ways to talk with their parents and siblings. All the the kids in Banana Splits feel like they are no longer alone in their feelings. In our group we have fun and learn more about ourselves and others at the same time.
Brown, L. and Brown, M. Dinosaurs Divorce (Boston: Little Brown and Co., 1986).
Divorce Source Dictionary (Divorce Source Inc. 1996-98).
Gardner, R. The Boys and Girls Book about Divorce (New York: Bantam Book, 1970).
World Book Encyclopedia, 1990. vol. D, "Divorce".
Here are some other links about coping with divorce and other related topics:
Family.com: Island Family Magazine - Easing t... Children's Rights Council
Helping Youth Cope with Stress
Teens & Stress
Here are some miscellaneous and fun links:
Pat's ("Humanoid"'s) Computer Webpage
NEW Kid's Opinion Club Webpage
Hotmail's Free Internet Mail Service
You may contact us by sending E-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
You may send us questions or comments about divorce or our webpage. Our Banana Splits group will try to answer questions and all of us will appreciate all comments sent.
The following presention has been brought to you by the third grade students of Chenango Valley Schools. The slide show is drawings of
"The Many Faces of Divorce".