Thursday, January 21, 2010

Transitions, Transitions

Kids aren’t masters of communication; they learn new ways to associate with others in each stage of growth. What this means is that you can’t expect them to come to you with their problems. Younger kids may not understand what they’re feeling or have the right words to express their emotions. Older kids may not yet see the importance of talking things out and getting advice. So, what’s a parent to do? How can you know how your kids are faring if they won’t tell you?
Pay close attention to transitions. And no, we don’t only mean how your son or daughter is handling the divorce overall. We want you to attend to small details. Since the news of your separation, have you been finding it harder to get her up for school in the morning? Does he refuse to put away the video games and focus on his homework? Or, is your older child acting unlike himself and fathering his younger brother?
Transitions, even the small ones, can be difficult for everyone. But growing up is about learning to adapt, and if your child is acting out of the ordinary, it might be an outward manifestation of emotional upset. Your daughter needn’t tell you she is worried, you can probably see it in her eyes when she has trouble leaving for mommy’s house on Sunday night.
There is no need to scrutinize your child’s every move, but do be mindful of behavioral changes—you may get the very answers you’re looking for. If you have concerns, talk to your pediatrician. He or she can be a great resource.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Can Divorce Affect My Kids?

This question undoubtedly wracks the minds and hearts of those contemplating, or going through, divorce. You want to know how the people you care most about —your children—will fare with a disrupted family. You wonder how they will cope when everything they know and trust changes.
The answer is yes, divorce will affect your children. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and how they respond will depend on how you and your soon-to-be ex handle the situation. If you keep the fighting away from your kids, and if each of you provides them with a loving, stable environment in which to grow, they should do just fine.
Don’t focus on the statistics. They will tell you that children of intact families fare better than those of divorced families; we see this comparison as unfair. Intact families are not always happy or nurturing and divorced families are not always cold or torn. Stability is key, and you may be better able to provide this for your kids if you and your partner lead separate lives. There is nothing like having happy, loving adults to look up to as you grow.
So, instead of focusing on whether divorce can affect your kids, consider how the change can be positive for them. This will include understanding your children' needs at this time and learning how to deal with your ex effectively.

To learn more, visit .