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Britney and K-Fed doing it all wrong, MU family researcher says
Date:11/13/2007

COLUMBIA, Mo. Britney Spears and ex-husband Kevin Federline continue to duke it out in the headlines over the custody of their two children. A University of Missouri-Columbia researcher and expert in divorce and stepfamily issues said this story should open everyones eyes to the damage that can be inflicted on children who are caught in a custody war.

They are doing almost everything wrong, said Larry Ganong, professor and co-chair of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) in the MU College of Human Environmental Sciences and professor in the Sinclair School of Nursing. Interparental conflict is so damaging for kids. The message is that parents need to cooperate as much as possible, put the childrens needs first, stifle anger and take the high road. I dont get the sense that Brit and K-Fed are doing that.

More than half of Americas courts require some type of parental education for adults going through divorce or separation. Ganong is one of the co-creators of Focus on Kids a program developed 12 years ago by HDFS faculty at MU and continually updated. It is used in many courts to educate parents on ways to put their differences aside for the sake of their children.

We dont necessarily expect the parents to like each other, but we do try to teach them to act cordial as though a person would with a co-worker or a business associate. In this case, that business is raising a child, Ganong said.

Ganong said it is a big challenge to do this because during this time period there is a lot of hurt and anger. It takes two people to make co-parenting a success. In this situation many parents are unable to work together to make their marriage a success and they just are not on the same page most of the time.

When I teach Focus on Kids classes, I tell them when they interact with their former spouse it will be difficult because that person knows what buttons to push, in fact, the ex-spouse probably
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Contact: Jennifer Faddis
FaddisJ@missouri.edu
573-882-6217
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

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