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Ask Michelle – Your “Family Therapist”

CHILD ABDUCTIONsmby MICHELLE CAVALERI, LCSW-R & Certified NYS Divorce Mediator

Unfortunately, statistics identifying one out of every two marriages ends in divorce, is holding steadfast! That being said, children of divorced parents sometimes become the unintended pawns, caught between two bickering adults! Should you find yourself in this situation, both you and your children will benefit by you recognizing the importance of, and implementing the following simple guidelines.

A CHILD’S FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS:

• Love both my parents with joy, and be proud that both love me
• Joyfully love all the people who are important to me
• Be safe
• Have my developmental needs and challenges taken into account
• Be protected from hearing unnecessary and hurtful details about an adult conflict
• Have my father and mother parent me differently and ask that they support each other’s parenting style
• Have parents who check in with each other on rules when consistency matters
• Just be a child without being responsible for any adult’s well-being
• Have my needs and interests come first when decisions about my schedule are made
• Know that my schedule won’t cause fighting and unnecessary disruptions
• Never be asked to take sides in my parents’ arguments
• Have parents who do what they can to stay emotionally healthy
• Never be subjected to parental rejection
• Talk about my concerns and emotions openly without fear of punishment or guilt
• Keep my feelings private without giving a reason
• See my parents as good role models for how to be respectful of others, even when we disagree
• Speak to my father or mother privately
• Be held accountable by both parents when I am encouraging conflict between them
• Not be forced to discuss what is happening in one parent’s life with the other parent
• Have parents who talk to one another without asking me to act as a messenger
• HAVE PARENTS WHO WILL WORK AT MAKING THE BEST OF A VERY DIFFICULT SITUATION

South Shore Counseling & Mediation Center is a full service mental health agency, offering CBT counseling, EFT modalities – (tapping), therapeutic counseling, a variety of behavioral and psycho-educational programs and divorce mediation. To speak with one of our therapists please call 631-286-8282, e-mail us at SSCounseling1@optonline.net or visit our website, Southshorecounselingcenter.net.

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