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Putting Children First:

Proven Parenting Strategies for Helping Children Thrive
Through Divorce
By JoAnne Pedro-Carroll, Ph.D.
Publication: Avery/Penguin, 2010

NAPPA Gold Award, 2010, National Parenting Publications Awards 2010 Mom's Choice Awards® Gold Recipient

When parents separate or divorce, they face not only their own painful adjustments, but also worry about the impact on their children. In Putting Children First, Dr. JoAnne Pedro-Carroll gives parents proven strategies for managing their conflict, creating parenting plans that protect children, and adopting parenting strategies that help children to make healthy adjustments to family changes. She offers hope, compassion, and understanding to parents, helping them turn adversity into parenting partnerships focused on their children’s best interests.

The book also reveals the thoughts and feelings that children often hide, and helps parents interpret their words and behaviors at each developmental level.

Here’s just some of what you’ll learn in Putting Children First:

  • How children express the stress of divorce at various developmental stages and how to understand their words and behaviors
  • How to talk to children of different ages about separation, divorce, and family changes in ways that provide reassurance and stability and prepare them for big changes
  • How parents can reduce conflict between themselves, promote their own well-being, and protect children from ongoing animosity
  • What recent behavioral and brain research contributes to our understanding of how to help children through difficult times
  • What emotionally intelligent parenting practices parents can adopt—balancing abiding love and very clear limits on their behavior—to help their children grow up strong and resilient.

Read a chapter by chapter summary.



"I have known JoAnne Pedro-Carroll personally and professionally for over 20 years. She clearly is one of the country's top divorce experts. She stands alone in her combination of ground breaking research, keen clinical insights, and unmatched sensitivity to children's struggles through divorce.

Her reputation alone will garner great interest in the book. Her knowledge and emotional understanding will surely keep this book on the shelves of divorced parents, therapists, lawyers, and bookstores for years to come."

-Robert E. Emery, Professor of Psychology, University of Virginia, author of The Truth About Children and Divorce: Dealing with the Emotions so You and Your Children Can Thrive

Read Jennifer Whitten’s review on Psych Central.

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2010 JoAnne Pedro-Carroll