Today we’re examining whether couples should stay together for the sake of the kids. A small study released in the UK recently found that 82 percent of 14- to 22-year-olds would prefer for their parents to separate than stay together for their sake. Of course, as anyone whose marriage has fallen apart can attest, there’s a lot of heartbreak when considering the impact on the kids. But as my guest Sarah MacLaughlin helps explain, it’s not the end of the relationship itself that counts, so much as how it’s handled. Sarah is a social worker who’s researched parenting and child development extensively for over two decades, and on the separation and divorce front, is trained in family mediation and crisis de-escalation. She’s director of parent education at the Center for Parenting and Play in Biddeford, Maine, which offers parenting classes, counselling and supported visitation. She’s also the author of the award-winning book, What Not to Say: Tools for Talking with Young Children and has written the Parenting Toolbox column for Parent & Family since 2008. Sarah shares thoughts on how it’s the way that a separation is handled, not the separation itself, that determines the emotional well-being of the kids.
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