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December 8, 2020 Roundup

Recent family related news included a deep dive into two important topics: parental alienation and divorce in the Hasidic community. In other news timely advice is shared about holiday travel (don’t if possible), making it work as a single parent during the pandemic (reach out for help) and finally an author interview on the subject of divorce and motherhood in Afghanistan.

How Single Parents Are Making It Work During The Pandemic Robin Young and Allison Hagan, WBUR, November 16, 2020 Nearly a quarter of the children under 18 live in a single-parent home in the U.S., according to a Pew Research Center report. Stacie Poythress, founder of Single Parent Advocate, talks about the Five Ds that connect single-parent families: the death of a spouse, divorce, disease, disability or a decision. Ms. Poythress advises single parents to raise their hand, pick up the phone and call someone. She adds: “We tend to hide our struggle from the counselors and the powers that be at schools because we don’t want to set off any red flags that you’re not the best parent, especially single fathers.”

Homeira Qaderi Reflects On Motherhood In Her New Memoir NPR, November 28, 2020 NPR’s Scott Simon speaks to Homeira Qaderi about her memoir Dancing in the Mosque: An Afghan Mother’s Letter to Her Son, the story motherhood and womanhood in her native country of Afghanistan. “Dr. Qaderi, an acclaimed writer, professor of literature, an adviser on equity for women to the Afghan government, had her son taken from her arms after her husband declared their marriage over in a three-word text message – divorce, divorce, divorce – when he wanted to take a second wife into their home. She’s written a memoir to try to tell her son, who she says will grow up to inherit the country, about the lives of women in Afghanistan, including hers.”

When One Parent Leaves a Hasidic Community, What Happens to the Kids? Larissa MacFarquhar, The New Yorker, November 30, 2020 “The irreconcilable differences between Orthodoxy and secularism increasingly end up in court…Not many people leave ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities…and one of the most painful difficulties that leavers faced was the risk of losing their children…In 2003, Malkie Schwartz, who had left the Lubavitch group in Crown Heights, founded Footsteps, an organization for people who had left Haredi communities.”

Holiday Travel With Children Patricia Fersch, forbes, December 1, 2020 The author shares her advice: “Don’t Travel-stay home and be safe and have a happy holiday however you celebrate it at home. If you think that this COVID period is the time for you to advance your self interest as to custody of your children, please don’t. This is a difficult time for everyone…especially children. Watching their parents behave sanely and safely is the best gift you can give this December.”

Can Children Be Persuaded to Love a Parent They Hate? Barbara Bradley Hagerty, Photo illustrations by Kensuke Koike, The Atlantic, December 2020 “Parental alienation is the term of art for an extreme form of behavior among divorced or divorcing couples…But there is a huge debate over whether parental alienation is a diagnosable disorder like anxiety or depression, and if so, what kinds of interventions are appropriate…When one parent in a divorce has worked to prejudice the kids against the other parent, the last-ditch solution for some judges is to send the children to ‘reunification camp.'”

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