Discussing your own problems with your children

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Discussing your own problems with your children

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Parents all the time wonder, should I tell my kid if I lose my job? or I'm diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, what should I say? I think the principle of selective truth telling is what you want to think about. The younger the child, the less I'm going to be detailed about what I share. I'm going to share things that are going to see and be truthful about it. I don't want to lie even if it's a comforting lie because that cracks the foundation of trust in the family. Lying is a very poor coping strategy. Selective truth telling are limited, the older the kid the more I'm unlikely to tell them more. Another factor is how vulnerable is my child, are they showing symptoms already? If they are not, I'm more likely to tell them more than not. I'm looking for that middle ground with selective truth telling. Then there's also the issue of why should I let my kid have access to in the home. If I'm mad at their mother, do I triangulate them with that? I probably don't want to do that, I want to find out other outlets. This is why self care is so important as parent. If my self care is off, I'm much more likely to turn to my child for that.

See David Palmiter, PhD, ABPP 's video on Discussing your own problems with your children...

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David Palmiter, PhD, ABPP

Psychologist & Author

Dr. David Palmiter is a professor of Psychology and Counseling at Marywood University. He is a practicing and board-certified clinical psychologist, a past president of the Pennsylvania Psychological Association, the author of over three dozen publications, including two books on promoting resilience in youth, a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (true of < 6% of psychologists), the American Academy of Clinical Psychology and the Pennsylvania Psychological Association in youth. He has also given hundreds of workshops on family issues for organizations such as The Navy SEAL Foundation, The Master Therapist Series at the University of Connecticut, The American Psychological Association and the McGraw-Hill Financial Group and completed hundreds of media projects for outlets such as CNN, The New York Times, US News and World Report and the Wall Street Journal. David is also a dad of three (two studying at Cornell University and one still in high school) and husband of 27 years to Dr. Lia Richards-Palmiter. A central aspect of his professional mission is to put air under the wings of parents as they try to raise happy and resilient children and teens.

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