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#9296 - 06/15/03 04:16 PM Supporting the kids
Dotsie Offline

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland
We are in the process of supporting a little friend whose parents are in the middle of a divorce. Any advice on what to say when this 15 year old talks to us? I am thinking the best thing to do is listen, but any other suggestions??? [Roll Eyes]

#9297 - 06/16/03 03:01 PM Re: Supporting the kids
TerrieRoxanne Offline

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 16
Loc: CA
I think listening is the most important thing you can do. Most teenagers do not want to be "told" anything but they do want and need you to be there to answer any questions, if asked. For some reason when parent divorce, the children sometimes think that it is their own fault or they think that the parents don't love them enough to stay together. Mostly they need reassurance that "they" are not the problem. They need to know that their parent still love them no matter what they may say or do to each other. Sometimes the children are afraid to ask a question. The only question I would ask is, "Is there anything you would like to talk about?"

A good link for this subject:

#9298 - 06/16/03 03:34 PM Re: Supporting the kids
Dotsie Offline

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland
Thanks so much for the great advice. I will try to listen and not fill in the empty space with words. [Wink]

The link you sent was great. When the topic comes up I will share it with my child and possibly with our friend.

Do you have any association with the web site you forwarded? It's a good one to bookmark!

#9299 - 06/17/03 02:40 PM Re: Supporting the kids
Kathryn Offline

Registered: 11/20/02
Posts: 317
Loc: Towson
Dots, as you know, my family is in the midst of a pretty traumatic crisis. I have three teenagers all in one state of emotional crisis of another at any given moment. Emphasizing that the kids are in no way responsible for the problem is critical, but unfortunately, by nature kids believe that they are at the center of their universe, thus are responsible for everything.
According to my kids, they don't want to hear excuses for their parents' behaviors they just want the behaviors to stop. In their minds, it is the adult's responsibility to act like an adult...that adult's have no business changing the status quo. All we can do is explain to them that what used to be "normal" is no longer possible and a new version of "normal" must be created. Encourage the child to participate in the creation of a new "normal". That is what we are working on at my house....a new normal!

#9300 - 06/17/03 05:19 PM Re: Supporting the kids
Dotsie Offline

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland
Kathryn, well said!

We are such creatures of habit. There are many ideas of what *normal* is, but coming up with something that becomes the norm for you and your kids is the next step. Praying it happens soon for all of you. [Wink]

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