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Caption: "Divorced Kid" producer Sasha Aslanian at her own wedding in September 1999., Credit: Liz Banfield Photography
Image by: Liz Banfield Photography 
"Divorced Kid" producer Sasha Aslanian at her own wedding in September 1999. 

Divorced Kid

From: American Public Media
Length: 54:00

America's divorce rate soared in the 1970s. Thirty years later, kids who grew up in the divorce revolution look back at that experience, and describe how it shaped them as adults. The 1970s also offered some lessons on how to improve divorce for kids today.

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Award-winning former American RadioWorks’ producer Sasha Aslanian explores the "divorce revolution" of the 1970s through the perspective of kids--like herself--who lived through it, and experts who have had three decades to make sense of it.

This program debuted on Minnesota Public Radio and received a torrent of positive listener calls and comments, and earned the top hits on the station’s web site. Listeners connected deeply with the topic and voices and wanted to contribute their own stories. Highly listenable, engaging and at times, humorous, consider airing “Divorced Kid” over the holiday season as families get together, or anytime in 2010. Newscast compatible and audio promos available.  Full web build-out at www.americanpublicmedia.org/divorcedkid

 

 

Using a lively blend of first-person storytelling, (surprising scenes like playing the reel-to-reel audio of her own parents' wedding vows back to them), interviews with Avery Corman, the author of Kramer vs. Kramer, and revisiting the now-grown kids who wrote "The Kids Book of Divorce" in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1979, the first half of the documentary reports on the lessons learned from the 1970s.
 

The second half of the program examines how the experience of divorce has changed for kids since the 70s. We hear the voices of 4th and 5th graders in a court-mandated class for kids in Minneapolis as they learn how to avoid “divorce traps” kids can fall into. Aslanian follows one of the kids in the class, 10-year-old Lizzy, as she gets a new stepmom, half-brother and stepbrother, and enters adolescence. The program also features judicial reforms to improve divorce.

 

 Note: Promos need tags. :23 + :06 music tails.

 

 

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Piece Description

Award-winning former American RadioWorks’ producer Sasha Aslanian explores the "divorce revolution" of the 1970s through the perspective of kids--like herself--who lived through it, and experts who have had three decades to make sense of it.

This program debuted on Minnesota Public Radio and received a torrent of positive listener calls and comments, and earned the top hits on the station’s web site. Listeners connected deeply with the topic and voices and wanted to contribute their own stories. Highly listenable, engaging and at times, humorous, consider airing “Divorced Kid” over the holiday season as families get together, or anytime in 2010. Newscast compatible and audio promos available.  Full web build-out at www.americanpublicmedia.org/divorcedkid

 

 

Using a lively blend of first-person storytelling, (surprising scenes like playing the reel-to-reel audio of her own parents' wedding vows back to them), interviews with Avery Corman, the author of Kramer vs. Kramer, and revisiting the now-grown kids who wrote "The Kids Book of Divorce" in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1979, the first half of the documentary reports on the lessons learned from the 1970s.
 

The second half of the program examines how the experience of divorce has changed for kids since the 70s. We hear the voices of 4th and 5th graders in a court-mandated class for kids in Minneapolis as they learn how to avoid “divorce traps” kids can fall into. Aslanian follows one of the kids in the class, 10-year-old Lizzy, as she gets a new stepmom, half-brother and stepbrother, and enters adolescence. The program also features judicial reforms to improve divorce.

 

 Note: Promos need tags. :23 + :06 music tails.

 

 

4 Comments Atom Feed

Caption: PRX default User image

a thought about "making divorce easier"

This was a great piece, very thought-provoking.

My parents divorced in 1976. By the time it happened I was quite relieved. I'm sure living with the dysfunction of my parents' bad marriage and my father's constant straying, was harder on me than the actual divorce. I think most of the damage was done before they finally divorced.

Now at almost 50 years of age, in an unhappy marriage, with an 11year old daughter, I listened to this piece with an ear to what my daughter's experience could be if my husband and I divorce while she is still living at home.

With this thought in mind, I found myself becoming a bit irritated with what seemed to be the expectation that the loss could be alleviated by doing the divorce better. Despite all the best efforts made over the years, experts found that divorce is still hard on the children, maybe to the point of damaging some of them. Well of course it is!! It is a huge, life-altering, loss!! It is a death of a loved thing and like the death of any loved one, parent or siblings, especially, it wounds one to the core. Wounds and loss are part of life. We try to avoid those losses, to protect our children from having to experiencing them, but sometimes that is just not possible or advisable. When contemplating taking such an action as ending a marriage, I think the other question that must be asked is "What am I modeling for my child(ren,)about being in a relationship, by staying in this unhappy marriage?

Thanks for this piece.

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Divorced Kid Worked Well on MPR News

Divorced Kid is an engaging doc. Sasha Aslanian uses her own experience as a jumping off point to tell us about how divorce affected kids that grew up in the 70s. To be clear, this isn't just a first person story. Rather Aslanian's personal experiences work as a through-line that adds color to the experts who've been studying divorce for decades. She also thoughtfully uses music and movie clips to paint the picture and really take us back to the 70s. Most importantly, it's compelling radio. MPR News got a lot of good feedback on this doc. We aired it a couple of times and will likely air it again. Strong work.

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Remarkable, must-listen

This is a poignant, provocative, deeply meaningful documentary. I highly recommend it, with the warning that it may be difficult for some listeners to hear. It was hard for me. Like Sacha and many, many others of our generation, I am a "divorced kid." And I think like so many "divorced kids," I invested a lot of myself in the idea that divorce was all OK, it didn't really have much of an impact on me. But as I have grown older, I recognize the very deep impact that divorce has had on me and frankly, this documentary woke me up to some of those ways.... I think this is a topic that is under-explored, and Sacha has made a very important program that more people need to hear. This program is definitely a conversation-starter. It would be great to air it with a call-in or interview segment around it. There are lots and lots of questions and emotions to explore. Any producer looking for something good and important to listen to, put this program at the top of your list.

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Broadcast History

Regional version debuted on Minnesota Public Radio August 26, 2009.

A 10-minute version aired on National Public Radio 1/3/10
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122127796

Transcript

http://www.americanpublicmedia.org/divorcedkid
Read the full transcript

Timing and Cues

00:00 - 00:59 Billboard
1:00 - 6:00 Newscast hole
6:00 - 33:28 Part 1
33:29 - 34:29 Music Bridge
35:30 - 59:00 Part 2
59:00 -1:00:00 Silence

Musical Works

Title Artist Album Label Year Length
Everyone's a Winner Hot Chocolate :59
Baker Street Jerry Rafferty :35
Slow Train Bob Dylan :52
I Believe in You Bob Dylan :23
L-O-V-E Love Orange Juice 01:24
Parents are People Marlo Thomas :46
Heart of Glass Blondie :59
My Family's Just Right for Me Barney Barney's Favorites Volume 1. :59

Additional Credits

Edited by Catherine Winter of American RadioWorks with help from Peter Clowney of American Public Media and Mike Edgerly of Minnesota Public Radio.

Related Website

www.americanpublicmedia.org/divorcedkid