counseling Archives | Cordell & Cordell

Grandparents provide needed support for children during divorce

As parents separate or divorce, children can feel great anxiety about the changes in the family structure, but grandparents can provide much needed support, stability and love during this transition, according to Claire N. Barnes in a recent column for the Huffington Post.

Barnes’ organization, Kids’ Turn, started a seminar in 2004 to help grandparents support their grandchildren as divorce or separation looms. The organization’s goal was to simply empower grandparents to be the best support system possible.

Barnes found that several elements of the program proved particularly beneficial. First, Barnes advises grandparents to stay out of the marital dispute. In the best interests of the grandchildren, grandparents should set aside their feelings about either parent. Second, keeping predictable dates with grandchildren will help provide stability in a turbulent time. Third, grandchildren will benefit from constant reminders about how special they are to a grandparent.

“This unwavering validation can offer a child a lifeline when things are rocky,” Barnes explained.

The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reports that a local nonprofit agency in Texas is offering support classes and group discussions for grandparents who are taking on added responsibility in the family structure or even raising their children’s children. The support program is run monthly by the Family Guidance and Outreach Center.

St Louis organization counsels couples with children during divorce

A divorce can be difficult emotionally and financially for a couple, but this separation can be even more taxing on the family’s children. But according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, an organization in the region is helping families reduce conflict and co-parent more effectively after a separation or divorce.

Kids in the Middle, located in Kirkwood, is opening a new location in St. Charles to help better serve families in need of the agency’s services.

Read the DadsDivorce.com article on Kids in the Middle: “Helping Children with Divorce.”

The organization begins counseling spouses and families when the decision to separate is reached. Kids in the Middle then stays with each family as they transition through divorce and into their post-divorce lives. The aim is to provide counseling, education and support services that are all geared toward the best interests of the children.

To help parents understand their children’s needs, the agency has compiled a Kids Bill of Rights which declares that all children have the right to a safe, stable and loving environment. To feel this way, children need to express love for both parents, remain connected to both parents’ families, express their feelings and remain a child and not a parental confidant.

Separations can help couples avert divorce

When couples reach the point of separation, it is often assumed that a divorce is imminent, but according to The Wall Street Journal, many marriage therapists recommend separation as a last-ditch effort to save a union.

One couple in Washington spent three months apart after 35 years of marriage to truly understand that their relationship was worth saving. The husband, Mark Earnhart, moved out, and after much soul searching by both parties, the couple got over their bickering and lack of communication and got back together.

Taking a break before the resentment and hatred truly takes hold can sometimes save a marriage, says the publication.

According to dating and relationship coach David Wygant, in a recent column for the Huffington Post, divorces can often be “cured” by taking the time to consider the needs of each spouse before the relationship spirals out of control and both partners emotionally close down.

“Instead of shutting down, putting up your dukes, or setting down your battleground lines – basically letting your ego take over – what if that moment, when everything started going haywire, you actually do the exact opposite of what you normally do? What if, instead, you thought to yourself, ‘What does my partner need right now, what does my partner need today that makes them feel loved, and how can I provide that for them?'”

Ministry supports troubled marriages in NC

Volunteers from several North Carolina churches have joined forces to help couples facing difficult times in their marriages, The Mount Olive Tribune reports.

According to the publication, there were more than 35,000 divorces in the state in 2009 and nearly half of all marriages end in divorce, but community members want to help married couples battle that statistic. In particular, they want to help the region’s large number of military families.

Whitley Church in Princeton started an outreach program for the spouses of servicemen and women, but the program has grown to include couples from every aspect of the community.

“When folks get married, the problem is that they have no clue on how to be married,” Scott Jennings, marriage and family life pastor at the church, told the news source. “People get married but don’t learn how to be married.”

Jennings brings his own experience with divorce to the program. He struggled with alcoholism and adultery, and he and his wife got divorced. However, he got his life on the right track and the couple was remarried two years later.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the divorce rate nationwide is 3.4 per 1,000 total population.