(Established in 1988)
A Neuro-Behavioral Medicine Clinic
Dr. Gautham's Neuro
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you decrease the stress your child feels over the changes brought on by
family issues? Mainly by learning to respond to her expressions of
conversation. Your child needs to know that her feelings are important
to you and that they'll be taken seriously.
your child put her feelings into words. Your child's behavior can
often clue you in to her feelings of sadness or anger. Let her voice her
emotions and help her to label them, without trying to change them or
explain them away. You might say: "It seems as if you're feeling sad
right now. Do you know what's making you feel so sad?" Be a good
listener when she responds, even if it's hard for you to hear.
your child's feelings. Saying things like, "No wonder you feel
sad" or "I know it feels like the hurt may never go away, but it
will" lets your child know that her feelings are valid. Encourage her
to get it all out before you start offering ways to make it better.
support. Ask your child, "What do you think will help you feel
better?" She might not be able to name something, but you can suggest
a few ideas - maybe just to sit together for a while or to take a walk or
to hold a favorite stuffed animal. Younger kids might especially
appreciate an offer to call Daddy on the phone or to make a picture to
give to Mommy when she comes at the end of the day.
that your child's adjustment could take a while. Some emotional and
behavioral reactions to the stress of divorce last for months or even a
year. Some may be much more temporary, lasting only until the situation
stabilizes and a child's routine can be re-established.
It's also important to remember that these responses do not necessarily indicate permanent problems. Most of the time children's emotional concerns following divorce are temporary, if handled with sensitivity. Being attentive to the signs your child sends about her feelings can help you to help her cope with them.