酷兔英语


When Brian Sibley and Rachael Brownell sat down at their kitchen table to discuss getting a divorce, they agreed on one thing: They wanted to minimize the damage the split would do to their daughters.


布莱恩•西布利(Brian Sibley)和雷切尔•布劳内尔(Rachael Brownell)的婚姻走到尽头,二人坐在厨房桌边达成了一个共识:尽量减少离婚给女儿们造成的负面影响。



Mr. Sibley and Ms. Brownell, who had been married for six years, each went through their own parents' divorces at the age of 10 and had felt torn between two parents. The two agreed to spare the girls that experience by focusing on their needs.


西布利和布劳内尔结婚已经6年了,两人都在10岁时有过父母离婚、夹在父母间左右为难的经历。两人都非常不希望自己的女儿也有同样的经历,所以打算充分考虑她们的需要。



They told the 4-year-old and the 7-year-old twins that they would all still be a family but that families don't always live together. 'We wanted to acknowledge this is a heartbreak, and this is not how we saw things going, but we still love you,' says Ms. Brownell, a 43-year-old author from Bellingham, Wash. She recalls feeling lonely and embarrassed and never discussing her parents' divorce with them -- feelings she didn't want her own daughters to have to repeat.


他们告诉7岁的双胞胎还有4岁的女儿,他们仍然是一家人,但是一家人并不总要住在一起。"我们承认这是一个让人心碎的决定,我们也不希望走到这一步,但无论如何我们都爱你,"布劳内尔说。她今年43岁,是一名作家,住在华盛顿州的贝灵厄姆(Bellingham)。她一想起父母当年的离婚就觉得非常孤独又难堪,而且从来也没跟父母讨论过他们离婚的事。她不希望几个女儿重蹈自己的覆辙。



'Children can absolutelythrive after a divorce, but it takes work' on the parents' part, says Christy Buchanan, professor of psychology at Wake Forest University and co-author of 'Adolescents After Divorce.'


"就算父母离婚,孩子们也能健康成长,但需要父母多花些精力,"克里斯蒂•布坎南(Christy Buchanan)说。他是美国维克森林大学(Wake Forest University)心理学教授,也是《离婚家庭中的青少年》(Adolescents After Divorce)一书的作者之一。



The divorce of parents has been blamed for children's behavior problems, poor grades in school and even trouble in their own romantic relationships as adults. One study says the intensity of conflict between parents is one of the best predictors of how kids will do after a divorce.


人们常常会将孩子举止不端、学习成绩差甚至当他们成年之后自己的感情出现问题等归罪于父母离婚。有研究称,父母冲突的激烈程度最能用来预测出孩子在父母离婚之后的表现。



There is some good news: The divorce rate, which peaked around 1980, is at its lowest level since 1970. Still, some 1.1 million U.S. children, or 1.5%, lived with a parent who had divorced in the previous year, according to the Census Bureau's Marital Events of Americans: 2009 survey.


不过也有好消息:离婚率下降。离婚率在20世纪80年代达到顶峰之后,已经降至1970年以来最低水平。不过,美国人口普查局(Census Bureau)的2009年婚姻状况调查结果显示,约有110万名儿童跟着之前一年刚离婚的父亲或母亲生活,占美国儿童总数的1.5%。



Alicia Cashman, who is 45 and married, says she felt 'profound sadness' when she was 13 and her parents told her they were divorcing. She and her three siblings stayed with their father, a professor at a local community college, because he had a flexible work schedule.


阿丽西亚•卡什曼(Alicia Cashman)今年45岁,已婚。她说当父母告诉自己他们要离婚时,她只有13岁,当时她感到"无比悲伤"。后来,她和三个兄弟姐妹一直与父亲生活,因为他是当地的社区大学的教授,工作时间比较灵活。



She was surprised to find she missed her parents' arguments. 'There was something warm about the fighting, compared with the silence,' she recalls. But soon she realized something important: Both parents were still in her life every day. Her mother moved half a mile away and kept a key to the family house, popping in to bring dinner, clean, monitor homework or make sure the kids were in bed. On holidays, she prepared big meals at the house for everyone, even her ex-husband.


她很惊讶地发现,其实自己很怀念父母吵架。"比起沉默来,吵架还能让人心里觉得暖一点,"她回忆说。不过很快她发现了很重要的事情:其实父母每天都还在自己的生活中。她的母亲搬到半英里之外的地方,留着家里的一把钥匙,经常会回来做饭、洗衣、看孩子们写作业,还有哄孩子睡觉。过节的时候,她还会为所有人准备大餐,包括她的前夫。



'It was important to have both parents,' says Ms. Cashman, a merchandiser for a greeting-card company in Carlsbad, Calif.


"父母都在身边对小孩子来说非常重要,"卡什曼说。她现在是加利福尼亚州卡尔斯巴德市(Carlsbad)一家贺卡公司的业务员。



Five years after their divorce, Ms. Cashman's parents remarried each other, divorcing a second time after seven years. 'Things can get better,' Ms. Cashman says. 'There is always the possibility of reconnecting, as my parents continued to do throughout their relationship.'


离婚5年后,卡什曼的父母复婚了,但7年后再度离婚。"情况是可以变好的,"卡什曼说,"我得父母从始至终都在努力好好相处,那样就总会有复合的可能。"



Kevin Lee, a social worker in Dartmouth, Mass., runs support groups for children of divorce called the Banana Splits, one for kids in second and third grades, one for fourth and fifth grades. Each group meets for 90 minutes every other week for two 12-week sessions; high school kids who also are children of divorce help out. Children are referred from local schools and area therapists.


凯文•李(Kevin Lee)是马萨诸塞州达特茅斯市(Dartmouth)的一名社工,负责针对离婚家庭儿童组织援助活动,这种活动有一个名字叫做"香蕉船"(Banana Splits)。其中一个小组针对的是二年级和三年级的孩子,另一个则是针对四年级和五年级的孩子。每个小组都是每两个星期聚会一次,每次聚会聊90分钟。活动分成两个阶段,每阶段12个星期。那些同样来自离婚家庭的高中生也参与进来帮忙。这些参加活动的孩子都是通过当地的学校和心理医生推荐的。



'Children come into the room and hear other kids talking and realize they are not alone,' Mr. Lee says.


"孩子们来到这里,听听其他孩子说话,就会意识到自己并不孤单,"李说。



Mary Ann Aronsohn, a Los Angeles marriage and family therapist, says parents should think of co-parenting as a business venture and treat their ex-spouse as they would a colleague or a client. Would you yell at a client, denigrate him to others or call him at home at all hours? Don't do it to your ex, either.


玛丽•安•阿伦森(Mary Ann Aronsohn)是洛杉矶的婚姻和家庭心理咨询师。她认为离婚后的夫妇应该把照顾孩子看作是一项事业,比如把对方当作是同事或客户来对待。你会对着客户大吼、当着别人的面诋毁他或是不分时候往他家打电话么?那么,也别对你前妻/夫这么做。



Ms. Aronsohn suggests divorcing couples create a parenting plan, detailing not only child-custody arrangements but also how to make joint parenting decisions.


阿伦森建议离婚后的夫妇拟定一个育子计划,其中不仅涉及孩子监护方面的安排,也要包括如何共同做出关于孩子的决定。



It may include a 'short story' explaining to the children why the marriage ended -- 'We loved each other very much in the beginning and hoped we could make a life together that would last forever, but we were wrong. You had no fault in this. While we will have different households, we think we will do a better job at being parents' -- and a 'mission statement' describing how they hope to behave.


这份计划中可能会包括一个向孩子解释婚姻如何结束的"小故事"──"一开始我们深爱着彼此,希望可以永远在一起生活不再分开,但我们错了。你没有任何错。尽管我们分开住在不同的房子里,但我们认为我们能成为更称职的父母"──以及一份"使命宣言",约定两人的行为。



'This gives kids the freedom to love both parents,' Ms. Aronsohn says.


"这样就给了孩子爱父母双方的自由,"阿伦森说。



Some divorcing parents agree to maintain a child's routine -- foods, mealtimes, story time, bedtime -- in each household. They may record minutes of meetings with their therapist so they won't forget the things they have agreed on.


有些离婚后的夫妇会达成共识,不管是在谁的住处,都要让孩子在生活习惯方面保持一致,包括饮食、吃饭时间、听故事时间和睡觉时间等。他们可能还需要记录下跟心理咨询师会面时谈到的细节,这样才不会忘记答应彼此的事。



To minimizeconflict, they communicate via email and address just one or two issues at a time. Family counselors remind parents not to take what a child says as the gospel truth.


为了尽量减少冲突,他们互相发电子邮件,每次解决一两个问题。家庭顾问还提醒家长别动辄把孩子的话奉为神旨。



Experts also advise divorcing parents to say nice things about each other. 'It doesn't cost anything to say, 'Your dad has such a great sense of humor and your laugh is just like his and I love hearing it,'' Ms. Aronsohn says.


专家还建议双方多说说对方的好话。"嘴上说说好听的又不花什么代价,比如'你爸可有幽默感了,你笑起来很像他,我很爱听你笑,'等等,"阿伦森说。



Tell children you hope they have a good time with daddy this weekend -- it frees them up to enjoy themselves and feel less conflicted.


告诉孩子你希望他们周末跟老爸好好玩──这样他们就会尽情地去玩,也不会那么感到左右为难。



Don't confide your anger or your grief to your child. Communicate directly with your ex, not through the kids. Don't ask them to carry messages back and forth, even neutral ones, like, 'Tell Mommy to pick you up at 6 p.m.' If the message makes Mom feel bad, the child will feel guilty. With small children, a notebook or log that travels back and forth with the child can help parents record and keep track of details.


别把你的怒气或怨念倾泄到孩子身上。直接找他/她谈,别让孩子传话。别让他们成为你们两人之间的传声筒,即便是没有什么感情色彩的话,比如"告诉妈妈晚上6点来接你"。如果孩子的母亲听了这话不高兴,小孩子会认为是自己做错了事而感到内疚。如果孩子年纪比较小,父母可以让他随身带上一个记事簿或是日志,由父母在上面做记录,并在双方之间来回传阅,这样可以帮助父母记录和跟踪细节。



Since their separation two years ago, Ms. Brownell and Mr. Sibley have worked together. During a weekend when their 6-year-old daughter was staying with Mr. Sibley, Ms. Brownell got a text from her ex saying a children's parade in town was starting soon, and the little girl wanted to dress up as either a dinosaur or a ballerina.


自从两年前分居之后,布劳内尔和西布利就一直在合作。一个周末,他们6岁的女儿正待在西布利家里,布劳内尔收到了前夫发来的一条短信,说城里有个儿童游行马上开始,他们的小女儿希望打扮成一只恐龙或是芭蕾舞演员去参加游行。



Ms. Brownell rummaged through her house looking for the costumes, then rushed downtown. She found her ex and her daughter just as the parade was receding down the block. Both parents helped their daughter put on the dinosaur costume, then ran with her to catch up with the others. They walked in the parade, all three together. 'You could see her little, sunny face lit up with joy,' says Ms. Brownell. 'That was one of the best moments of my life.'


布劳内尔在家里翻箱倒柜找了一套服装,赶紧冲到城里。游行队伍已经出发,前夫和女儿正站在街边等着。两人赶紧给女儿穿上恐龙装,跟她一起追上了游行队伍。他们一起走在游行队伍里,三个人一起。"她的小脸如阳光般灿烂,闪耀着无尽的欢欣。那是我这辈子最棒的时刻之一。" 布劳内尔说。



Elizabeth Bernstein