Helping Children Cope with Divorce

Dr. Miriam Galindo, a licensed social worker and licensed psychologist, currently maintains a private practice with her husband in Irvine, California. With a doctor of psychology from Trinity College of Graduate Studies, Dr. Miriam Galindo provides psychological counseling to children in high-conflict divorce situations.

Divorce is a stressful and confusing experience for children, so it is important that parents help their kids through the process by maintaining stability at home, attending to their children’s needs, and being positive. At first, discussing the situation with children is often a difficult task, but telling the truth, addressing the changes that will be happening, and telling children often that they are loved help alleviate the pain and confusion. Parents should explain in a simple way why the divorce is happening and emphasize that, while things may change between parents, both parents will always love their children.

It is also important that parents do not blame their spouse, as difficult as it may be. Speaking badly about one another and quizzing children on what happens at the other parent’s house makes the situation more stressful for the children. Sometimes, getting help for one’s own painful feelings helps with staying positive and supporting the children.

Parents should also allow children to express their feelings about the situation. By allowing children to be honest about what they feel, parents are able to learn the best way to support and help them through the process. Any misunderstandings that come up should be calmly addressed so that the children understand what is happening. Finally, a consistent message of reassurance and love is an important part of the divorce process for children.

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