Kids and Divorce
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II have been a practicing psychologist in an outpatient setting for over twenty-nine years. I run into the same issues and problems almost every day (addictions, anxiety, ADHD/learning disabilities, assertiveness, children’s behaviors, mood disorders, relationships and self-esteem). This article is another about children; in this case what they experience after their parents separate and/or divorce.
Here's some particulars...
This ebook discusses what not to do after the divorce, or put more positively, what to do to help your child(ren) cope and process this very big life-changing event. It focuses on both the parent and child’s experiences. However, since I am a child psychologist, it presents information to parents from the child's point of view, highlighting what children need and want when their parents are no longer together. Here's some specifics...
I start with a summary of some of the more common research findings. I don't get too technical or scholarly, but it is important to put my information into context.
Next is a description of how children see divorce. (Most parents "get" more of their own experience, not the childs.') While it occasionally does occur, it is very rare that kids want their parents to divorce. Kids have very bad feelings during this and subsequent times. What are these feelings and how can parents help? Here is a discussion of the seven things kids want, and the five feelings they need to have.
Next is a discussion of what parents might consider before the divorce. Some parents do a very good job of thinking about what to do before telling the kids. Here you will find the top ten things to do first...
What are the ways to "reach" kids? I go over specific communication techniques, especially the ones that work the best. What about rewards, bribes, manipulation? Parents usually resort to some version of these, often out of desperation. I write about how to avoid much of that. These are covered under "Vocabulary of Feelings," the "Four-To-One Rule," and the "Three Contingencies of Reinforcement."
Parents have to know about "acting out." They have to understand what acting out expresses. What does it mean? What is the child doing by behaving this way? This is where the Vocabulary of Feelings earns high marks. It opens up communication in productive, not destructive ways. What are the most common feelings children have during this time? I list seven.
Sometimes, kids are really thrown for a loop by divorce, no matter how sensitive the parents are. Worse, sometimes kids fall apart, which is more common when parents declare war on each other. I list the top ten major warning signs of childhood decompensation. If you see any of these signs, take your child to a licensed professional.
What are the three most destructive things a child believes about the divorce? Parents have to correct these right away, or else... What is the one finding from dozens of studies that almost single handedly explains why there is such harm children suffer before, during and after the divorce?
Parents should know about Constancy. This is one of the most powerful psychological priniciples that parents overlook. Without it, kids are lost. What is the most crucial time to attend to this?. There is one developmental time frame that requires special attention. If the divorce occurs during this two year period, the child is five times more likely to develop a depressive and/or an anxiety disorder in the teen years.
How should parents handle "visitation?" This is such a strange word to kids, especially in the beginning, just after the divorce. What's the aftermath of children having to go back and forth between parents? What might parents do about pre-visit and exit "jitters?" What about resistance?
Then I introduce some techniques--things to do or say that make much of this manageable. Believe it or not, parents can succeed in all the above areas, even while living in separate households. It's not ideal, but children can salvage much that is meaningful, but only if the parents are skilled.
This brings up co-parenting. Have you and your "ex" considered what rules each of you will have pertaining to the child? How about rewards for good behaviors? It's important for the contingencies to be at least similar between the houses. What about changes? Usually, parents develop a schedule of visitation. But things change, often at the last minute. Now what? Parents have to work together at least a little bit to pull this off. I provide lots of tips.
What are the seven deadly sins committed by warring parents during visitation? These are huge "no-no's" if you want your child to have any peace of mind at all.
What do parents need to know if and when there arrives a stepparent? Thought things were challenging just after the divorce? Just wait... And, how do the children address the new "parent?" Blended families foil many an attempt to re-stabilize households. But there are four simple solutions (mind sets) that help if the parent is open.
And, what do parents do with their own feelings? Usually we act them out on our "ex." This is understandable, but it is damaging to both parents and children. What if the "ex's" hate each other so much that they will not even send email to each other? This is disastrous and probably requires intervention. I discuss when and what types will be most helpful. Parents need to know what constitutes the best adult behaviors in conjunction with what the children are feeling. If this fails, it probably is appropriate for the parents to start their own counseling. I tell you when.
Lastly, two things are included that are not often discussed in this context. One is the death of a parent and the sequela experienced by the remaining family members. The other is the divorced parent's self-care, which is usually diminished. I list the ten areas separated and/or divorced parents should not overlook.
These are the subjects I cover in this ebook. This ebook has 31 pages and contains THE information parents have to have to save their kids from psychological harm. Clients are very enthusiastic about this ebook, probably because there are not many to-the-point references to be found on this subject. Half the population has experienced divorce, and unfortunately, a high number of divorcing couples have children. There is a great need here.
Again, this ebook has no fat. Think of it as a "Cliffs Notes" publication. It's a quick read (about an hour), because I go straight to the points and explain concepts in everyday language, just like what you're reading now.
"Just purchased Kids and Divorce. I read the first few pages of Why Relationships Fail and it looks like a winner, too. You have hit the nail squarely on the head with your reference to communication. Kids should have classes in these things in high school. So many people are totally inept at Life Skills. Your ebooks are great and very helpful in our business - Visitation Monitors (Families 1rst, LLC. http://www.families1.org). I am also downloading the free book on visitation. Keep writing!" --C.K. Encinitas, CA
Ebooks are replacing standard books because they are easier and quicker to obtain. There is a need for immediate information, reasonably priced. I've priced this ebook to be at least twenty percent below market, considering what bookstores charge and the travel costs to and from. The ebook is now available for download. The price is:
Click on the button below and follow the links. After you've presented your credit card information (or Pay Pal), you'll receive a link to the download page. The title of this ebook is:
"Kids and Divorce"
This publication will be presented in PDF format, which means you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader. It's free and here's the link to get it:
This ebook is also now available in electronic format, for the various ereaders like Kindle, Nook, "i" devices and a whole bunch more. If you want Kids and Divorce for these formats, go to:
Print out a copy, but save it to disk!!! If there is some unforseen problem with transmission, call me. You can find my contact information by clicking here: Offices. Leave your email address, and I'll send you the ebook as an attachment. One way or another I'll make sure you get what you paid for, even if I have to mail it by hand (in which case, include your name and mailing address.
Also click on FREE ebook (in the Navigation Bar in the upper left part of this webpage) for another ebook related to this subject, this time with an emphasis on your child's self-esteem and how it may be harmed by the atmosphere of conflict inherent in most divorces...
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