From the author of the best-selling Your Baby and Child comes a book full of completely practical, comprehensively researched information and advice on how you can do what is best for your child when you are going through a separation or divorce.
Using the latest scientific research in child development, Penelope Leach covers the various effects of divorce on children in five stages of life – infants, toddlers/preschoolers, primary school children, teenagers, college students/young adults – many of whom are far more deeply affected than previously thought. She explains recent studies that overturn many common assumptions and that show, for example, how many standard custody arrangements for very young children are harmful to children’s attachment to their parents and therefore to their brain development. There is evidence to suggest that the practice of having infants and toddlers spend regular overnights with noncustodial parents may be damaging, and the practice of dividing children’s time equally between the parents is seldom best for the children.
Leach’s advice is meticulously considered and exhaustive, covering everything from access, custody, and financial and legal considerations to managing separate sets of technology in two houses, and she includes the voices of both parents and children to illustrate her points. She explains why “mutual parenting” is the ideal way to co-parent after a divorce and delineates ways to carry this out. And throughout, she makes clear that, most importantly in any separation or divorce, both parents must put their relationship to their children and responsiveness to their needs ahead of their feelings about each other.