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PARENTS: TAKE NOTICE OF YOUR CHILDREN'S FEARS


Although every divorce or separation is unique, here are some common problems and ways to help:

 

  1. Fears of Abandonment
With one parent usually moving out of the house, children often worry that both parents will leave.
To Help: Reassure children that they will be cared for, explain changing living situations in concrete and specific terms in advance, so children know what to expect.

 

  1. Taking the Blame
Taking the Blame Children often believe they did something to cause their parent's divorce.
To Help: Assist children to understand that divorce is an adult problem and they are not to blame in any way.

 

  1. Staying Silent
Children often do not know how or are unwilling to express their thoughts or feelings in words. Instead, behavior can be angry, defiant or withdrawn.
To Help: Be aware that changes in behavior may be linked to the divorce. Help children find safe constructive outlets for their feelings, such as drawing or writing.

 

  1. Getting Caught in The Middle
Studies show children exhibit numerous negative effects when placed in the middle of parents adversarial conflicts, or are asked to "take sides".
To Help: Ensure that children are not put in these or other untenable positions. Consider mediation to reduce power struggles and enlist appropriate adult help to address legal, financial or emotional issues.

 

  1. Feeling Inadequate
Self-esteem plummets among children of divorce.
To Help: Encourage children to express their thoughts and feelings and talk about why they feel "weird" or "different". Seek outside help if necessary.

 

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