Great idea for schools
Here is an excellent letter you can use to approach your local schools:
Dear Superintendents, Teachers, and Counselors,
It is time we pull together and implement prevention intervention programs for our students concerning divorce and custody. Statistics show that 25% or more children of divorce will suffer emotional trauma as a result of their parents’ actions.
Two audio resources may help you understand the intensity of this problem.
- http://www.blogtalkradio.com/search/dr-sol-goldstein/ ( Choose one titled: Family)
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQIXAjC_v50 (Dr. Jane Major…)
Presenting problems for children involved in high conflict divorces may include, but are not limited to: aggression, depression, attention deficit disorder, poor academic performance, bullying, and oppositional defiance disorder. Many of these same children, due to their pathology, become labeled as a result, when, in fact, the pathology is not the children’s but that of their parents.
Studies also show that parents are more apt to attend counseling sessions in the schools before agreeing to outside services. This means that we, as school personnel, can help the students if we step up to the plate and offer services to the family unit.
At this time, school counselors are not required to take courses in family counseling, but that does not prevent school counseling majors from adding family counseling to their knowledge base. Acquiring family counseling skills, as well as an in-depth understanding of the emotional abuse that occurs in children, will allow counselors to assist parents in restructuring their behavior for the sake of their children.
As a counseling student, advocate for children, and a parent with life experience concerning this issue, I suggest the following actions to start:
- Watch and listen to the two audios above
- Read Dr. Amy Baker’s article, “Working with alienated children and their targeted parents : Suggestions for sound practices for mental health professionals”
- Obtain a copy of the DVD “ Welcome Back Pluto,” by Dr. Richard Warshak
- Read the article: “An evaluation of the efficacy of a preventive intervention for 4th-6th grade urban children of divorce , “ by Pedro, Alpert-Gillis & Cowen
Leaving no child behind means stepping up to the plate and facing the problems children are experiencing in order to help them heal and providing programs to prevent deep emotional scarring. Children can not help themselves and you will not help them unless you address the issues with their parents concerning divorce and custody.
Please e-mail me at (your email) for the aforementioned articles and additional resources.