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Divorce & Children

  1. 1. DIVORCE
  2. 2. WHAT IS DIVORCE?  Oxford dictionary: the legal dissolution of a marriage by a court or other competent body.  Wikipedia: is the final termination of a marital union, canceling the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage and dissolving the bonds of matrimony between the parties.  Merriam Webster: the action or an instance of legally dissolving a marriage.
  3. 3. CURRENT DIVORCE RATE IN THE US?  Frequent reports say that “50% of all marriages in the America end in divorce.” “Probably, 40 or possibly even 50 percent of marriages will end in divorce if current trends continue.” -The Americans for Divorce Reform (http://www.divorcereform.org/)
  4. 4. FACTORS WHY COUPLES DIVORCE  Work Problem  Poor communication  Infidelity  No more trust  Incompatible
  5. 5. FACTORS WHY COUPLES DIVORCE  Drinking or Drug Abuse  Physical or mental abuse  Money Problem
  6. 6. HOW ARE CHILDREN AFFECTED BY DIVORCE Infant  Too young to understand what is happening  May sense parents’ stress and feel changes in daily routine
  7. 7. Preschool  Lack mental ability to understand what is happening  Will be confused, angry, sad, and fearful  May believe they are at fault
  8. 8.  Fantasy play will reveal fears and desires of family reunited  Developmental regression: insisting to sleep on the same bed as the parent, stuttering or baby talk, disruption on toilet training, excessive emotional dependence to parent
  9. 9. School Age  Early Elementary Grade Better to handle separation to the noncustodial parent Fear of being replace in the affections of the noncustodial parent sadness, depression, anger, and general anxiety decline in academic performance
  10. 10.  Upper Elementary Grade capable of better understanding of divorce erecting defense mechanisms to protect themselves against the pain they feel over a divorce. Intensely angry at their parents for divorcing.
  11. 11.  Teenagers divorce is difficult because it is yet another source of upheaval in their lives. torn between love for and anger toward their parents and between conflicting loyalties to both parents. May act out anger and frustration through delinquency, substance abuse, sexual promiscuity
  12. 12. may blame one or both parents may become controlling by demanding to stay in one place or to switch residences constantly. may have behavior problems, exhibit depression, show poor school performance, run away from home, or get into trouble with the law.
  13. 13. HOW TO HELP CHILDREN COPE WITH DIVORCE  What to say and how to say it  Tell the truth. Your kids are entitled to know why you are getting a divorce,  Say “I love you.” However simple it may sound, letting your children know that your love for them hasn’t changed is a powerful message.  Address changes. Acknowledging that some things will be different now, and other things won’t.
  14. 14.  Avoid blaming:  Present a united front. As much as you can, try to agree in advance on an explanation for your separation or divorce—and stick to it.  Plan your conversations. Make plans to talk with your children before any changes in the living arrangements occur  Show restraint. Be respectful of your spouse when giving the reasons for the separation.
  15. 15. LISTEN AND REASSURE  Help kids express feelings  Listen. Encourage your child to share their feelings and really listen to them.  Help them find words for their feelings. It’s normal for children to have difficulty expressing their feelings.  Let them be honest. Children might be reluctant to share their true feelings for fear of hurting you.  Acknowledge their feelings. Acknowledge their feelings rather than dismissing them..
  16. 16.  Clearing up misunderstandings  Set the record straight. Repeat why you decided to get a divorce.  Be patient. Treat your child’s confusion or misunderstandings with patience.  Reassure. As often as you need to, remind your children that both parents will continue to love them and that they are not responsible for the divorce.
  17. 17.  Give reassurance and love  Both parents will be there.  It’ll be okay. Tell kids that things won’t always be easy, but that they will work out.  Closeness. Physical has a powerful way of reassuring your child of your love.  Be honest. When kids raise concerns or anxieties, respond truthfully.

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