Sunday, January 23, 2011

How do I help my kids cope with my divorce?

Ms. Dorothy,
My husband and I are splitting up. Our two daughters are having a hard time with this.  The high schooler is taking it much worse than either of us expected. She is struggling academically, socially, and is emotionally depressed. She is old enough to understand what's going on, so why is this so hard for her?
- A Mom

Changes in the home impact different children in different ways, but they are all affected by it in some way, no matter how old they are.

Your daughters should both see a counselor.  

Your high schooler is showing some dramatic outward reactions to this, and needs very real help to cope with her emotions.

But don't neglect your younger daughter. Just because her response hasn't been as overt, does not mean she isn't suffering as well. As a matter of fact, she is probably also dealing with the confusion and stress of the household's reactions to her older sister.

Please contact the kids' schools or their doctors and get a referral to a counselor right away. Putting this off could make things much worse, and much harder to remedy.

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