How to talk to kids about their parents’ divorce

Divorce is often stressful for both parents and their children, and now a new report with some advice for parents encourages them to look to their children’s pediatricians, therapists and others in their communities to help them manage this tough transition.

Research shows that children may experience a range of behavioral changes as a result of their parents’ divorce, the authors of the report said. Children’s reactionsto their parents’ separation may involve anxiety, self-blame for the divorce, or poor performance at school, depending on the children’s age, circumstances of the divorce and parents’ own psychological functioning, according to the new report, published today (Nov. 28) in the journal Pediatrics.

Because that last factor — the parents’ own functioning — affects children’s ability to cope with their parents’ divorce, parents should make sure they can cope with their own emotions related to the separationin order to be able to offer stronger support to their children, said Dr. Carol C. Weitzman, a co-author of the report and a professor of pediatrics at Yale School of Medicine.

Parents should “take the pulse on their own emotional state” and get psychological help for themselves if they realize they need it, Weitzman said.

This help may involve talk therapy, support groups for divorced people or, if a parent is religious, talking to someone like a pastor, she said.

“The more a parent is feeling capable and OK, the more they are going to be able to meet their children’s needs,” Weitzman told Live Science. “The less in control they feel, the more overwhelmed they feel [and] the more difficult it will be to keep their children’s needs front and center.”

 

You can read the other half of this article on Live Science here: http://bit.ly/2ovtaY8

By | 2017-04-24T20:51:43+00:00 April 20th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

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