Effects of divorce on children

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Effects of divorce on children

How should we deal with the effect of our divorce on children? Children, when they’re very young, develop absolute rules about the world – objects fall down, the sun raises in the east, my parents will always stay the way they are right now. If you divorce, you are literally overturning their world. They are confused, they’re upset, they’re angry, they’re hurt, they’re scared – all that. So what you need to do, most importantly, is to put through the message that they will be safe. Sit down with them and tell them what’s really going to happen. Don’t lie. They want to know – “Am I going to have two homes?” “Am I still going to have mommy and daddy?” “Am I still going to have my siblings?” Everything. Make sure they know and tell them the truth. Also, if you can, it’s much better if the two of you tell the kid together. It’s much scarier to hear about a divorce when there’s only one parent there and the other is I don’t know where. Now, another point about this – very young children have a special thing going with this – they will believe that it’s their fault that their parents are divorcing. I know it sounds crazy. So with them, you want to absolutely make sure and let them know over and over and over that it’s not.
ALL PARENTS, Family Life, Divorce

View Douglas Green, MFT's video on Effects of divorce on children...


Expert Bio

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Douglas Green, MFT

Child Therapist

Douglas Green left a successful career as a writer and director of film, stage and television to become a Psychotherapist, specializing in helping children and teenagers live lives they can be proud of.  He has a degree in Drama Therapy, and uses creative active techniques often in his work.  He has extensive experience in working with numerous childhood issues, such as ADHD, autism, Asperger's, depression, anxiety, and recovery from physical, sexual, and emotional Abuse.  He works at two offices, one in Woodland Hills, CA and one in West Los Angeles, CA, and is an Adjunct Professor at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

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