EP: 035



Parents worry about the long-term impact divorce will have on their children. The good news is that two-thirds of the children of divorce are just fine. The bad news is that one-third are, indeed, disadvantaged by long-term problems. What can parents do to ensure that their children fall in to the resilient category—and go on to thrive in the aftermath of divorce?

Dr. JoAnne Pedro-Carroll is recognized internationally as an authority in the field of children and divorce, speaking regularly at conferences all over the world and consulting with universities, schools, courts and health agencies on matters relating to child mental health and parenting. Additionally, she continues to work with children and families in private practice and serves as a child specialist in the collaborative divorce process. Dr. Pedro-Carroll held faculty positions in psychology and psychiatry at the University of Rochester from 1984 to 2008 and was a Senior Researcher at the Children’s Institute in Rochester, New York. She serves as an advisor to Sesame Street on its Little Children, Big Challenges initiative, and she is the author of Putting Children First: Proven Parenting Strategies for Helping Children Thrive Through Divorce.

Today, Dr. Pedro-Carroll sits down with Katherine to address what parents can do to help their children demonstrate resilience through the divorce process. She explains the misguided view that taking the high road makes you vulnerable and the impact of long-term resentment on your ability to parent effectively. Dr. Pedro-Carroll offers insight around the role of the child specialist in the collaborative divorce process and the feasibility of bird nesting as a workable solution for divorcing families. Listen in for the factors to consider in the development of an effective parenting plan and learn how to give you kids a voice in the process.


The challenge of managing emotions of fear, loss and grief through divorce

The statistics around long-term problems exhibited by children of divorce

  • 1/3 suffer from long-term issues
  • 2/3 make healthy adjustment

The two most powerful predictive factors for resilient children of divorce

  1. Extent to which parents contain conflict
  2. Quality of parenting, relationship between children and parents

The misguided view that taking the high road makes you vulnerable

How holding onto resentment impacts parenting in a negative way

The value in keeping families out of court with alternative processes

Dr. Pedro-Carroll’s take on bird nesting as a short-term solution

Dr. Pedro-Carroll’s insight on developing a parenting schedule

  • Based on children’s ages, circumstances
  • Allow for frequent contact with both parents
  • Test different plans, reassess as necessary

How to give children a voice in the parenting plan without the burden of choice

The child specialist’s role in the collaborative divorce process

  • Guide parents in understanding children’s needs, worries

How the way you tell children about the divorce sets the tone moving forward


Dr. Pedro-Carroll’s Website


Putting Children First: Proven Parenting Strategies for Helping Children Thrive Through Divorce by JoAnne Pedro-Carroll


The Center for Understanding Conflict

Miller Law Group

Katherine on LinkedIn

The New Yorker’s Guide to Collaborative Divorce by Katherine Miller

Email katherine@westchesterfamilylaw.com

Call (914) 738-7765