Renowned Grief Expert Release 5 Tools for Children and Parents When Divorcing

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The outcome for children of divorced parents may depend on how the separation was handled by the parents. Edy Nathan MA, LCSW, releases 5 tools that could help parents and children ease the pain of divorce.

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When contemplating divorce, don’t make an emotional decision to leave without looking at the whole picture.

Every year in the United States, about 2.4 million people walk down the aisle, and an additional 1.2 million divorce, yielding a 50% divorce rate. No one in the family goes unaltered after living through a divorce. The affect on children can range from low self-esteem issues to difficulty concentrating and learning. The outcome for kids depends on how the divorce was handled by the parents. New York City-based therapist, Edy Nathan MA, LCSW, cautions that divorce might seem like a solution now, but can turn into a disaster down the road, especially for the kids.

No matter what the age, children are vulnerable. When the parental unit decides to split, the kids often perceive the danger of divorce long before anything is discussed with them. Ending a relationship is never easy, it is much more arduous when children are involved.

Here are 5 tools to make the transition for children and parents easier when going through a divorce:

1.    Stop fighting in front of the children. Hold your tongues. The pre and post divorce phenomena of conflict-ridden arguments and fights between parents can create the poorest emotional outcome for kids. Take the fights outside. This is a time to think about cause and affect the fighting has on them.

2.     Let the kids be kids, not the go between. This is dangerous stuff and creates confusion and alliance issues that are hard to counteract in the long run. With texting, email and snail mail, if in person communication with an ex is difficult then use these other modes of communication.

3.    No right way to separate and divorce. Making the rules about what this looks like can be creative and clever. Nathan shares that one family kept the house and the parents moved in and out of the house instead of disrupting the kids.

4.    Don’t use the kids as pawns. The resentment that results from parental pawn-brokering is powerful and lethal: stay honest with the self and with the kids before, during and after the divorce. Perceptive and sensitive if they are used as pawns for more money or visitation rights or to be the informant, they know.

5.    Take the pressure off! Don’t pressure the kids to talk about their feelings. They will talk in their way and in their time. Let them know that what they think, feel or need will be heard. When pressured, children will often shut down. Play a game with them, go to the movies or a walk. In time, what is learned about their pain will come in spurts. Confusion, fear and anxiety are often present in the initial phase of divorce for both the parents and the kids. As adults, there is a greater understanding of the emotions. Children have less experience with these emotions, often working to sort them out through means that may seem strange to the parents.

When contemplating divorce, don’t make an emotional decision to leave without looking at the whole picture.

For a complimentary meditation and more information about other topics related to grief, loss and trauma, please visit here.

About Edy Nathan:
Edy Nathan is a licensed psychotherapist with over 20 years of experience specializing in grief. For two seasons she was the therapist on the A&E TV Show, “Psychic Kids”. She holds Masters from both New York University and Fordham University. She has post-graduate training from the Ackerman Institute for Family Therapy, The Gestalt Center and the Jungian Institute. She is a certified EMDR practitioner, regression therapist, certified hypnotherapist, relationship and grief expert. To find out more, visit EdyNathan.com.

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