Illinois divorce lawyerIn the 1960s, developmental psychologist Diana Baumrind identified three distinct parenting styles: authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive. Later, researchers Maccoby and Martin theorized that the parenting style identified as permissive by Baumrind has two types, indulgent and uninvolved. Identifying and understanding your parenting style can help you co-parent with your former partner and relate to your child more effectively. When the court develops a parenting agreement, it considers the child’s relationship with each parent and each parent’s ability to provide for the child’s needs, which can both be tied to the parent’s parenting style. Keep in mind that very few parents fit neatly into one of the boxes below. Rather, these types are the pillars of a parenting style spectrum, and nearly all parents fall somewhere between two or more of these pillars.

Authoritarian

Authoritarian parents are commonly known as “strict parents.” Rather than discussing why rules and boundaries exist, these parents expect their children to obey without question. Authoritarian parents often have high expectations of their children and generally use punishment as a means to encourage compliance with these expectations and control their children’s behavior.

Authoritarian parenting is correlated with insecurity, low self-esteem, mental health problems, and poor social skills in children.

Authoritative

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Illinois family law attorney, Illinois custody lawyerThere are countless aspects surrounding the divorce experience that parents are faced with when raising children throughout the separation process. Studies show that children are especially prone to the negative psychological effects that accompany the end of their parents’ marriage, due to the fact that they are still developing and learning to process - and cope with - rapidly changing emotions and circumstances. It is understandable, then, how something as anxiety-inducing as moving during or shortly after divorce can trigger a significant psychological struggle for children.

Moving and Divorce: A Psychological Toll

Recent divorce law changes in the state of Illinois now allow the primary residential parent to relocate with their child after divorce, as long as the move is made within a 25-mile radius. Because of this new guideline, that 25-mile radius can actually mean a jump over the state line, depending on which county you live in. Whether you are moving one neighborhood away or using up those permissible 25 miles, studies indicate that moving after divorce can be unsettling for children and can reap long-term psychological effects.

What Studies Suggest

The American Psychological Association (APA) reported studies that were conducted among students from an array of relocation scenarios, including subsets of students who experienced their primary (custodial) parent moving after divorce, and students who experienced no parental relocation at all. In general, the students of divorced families who relocated on some level were found to suffer more distress and perceive their parents in a less favorable light over the long term. Additionally, the students of divorced parents who relocated also experienced less life satisfaction and rated their physical and mental health poorly over time. They also felt more anger and hostility within their interpersonal relationships.

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