Discussing divorce with elementary school-aged kids

Alan Yellin, PhD Psychologist, Marriage and Family Therapist, shares advice for parents on the best way of discussing that they are getting a divorce with their elementary school-aged kids
Divorce And Children | Discussing Divorce With Elementary Age Kids
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Discussing divorce with elementary school-aged kids

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Parents should sit down with their elementary age school child and tell them directly that mom and dad have not been getting along. If the children have had a chance to observe a lot of arguing or fighting, the parents may want to call on that and say you can probably remember or tell that mommy and daddy have had a hard time getting along. But we want you to know that our not getting along has nothing to do with you. It has everything to do with grown up kind of problems. And so we want the child to know they are loved by both parents. We want the child to know that both mom and dad will remain in their life. We want them to know that they will always be their mom and dad. And we want parents to stay as involved in the child´s life as possible. So if there is a soccer game, both parents go to the soccer game. If there is an open house, we would like both parents to go to the open house. So we would like the child to feel like even though mom and dad don´t live together anymore, both my parents still love and are involved and are concerned about me.

Alan Yellin, PhD Psychologist, Marriage and Family Therapist, shares advice for parents on the best way of discussing that they are getting a divorce with their elementary school-aged kids

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Alan Yellin, PhD

Psychologist

Dr. Alan Yellin is a licensed psychologist as well as licensed marriage and family therapist.  He has been in practice for over 30 years working with children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Yellin did his post-doctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. In his practice, he sees children with learning problems, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, fears and social skills issues. Additionally, he has a sub-specialty in working with children from divorced families as well as helping parents deal more effectively with their divorce. Dr. Yellin’s practice also includes working with adolescents and adults with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive issues as well as issues around life passages. Dr. Yellin believes that therapy works best when the client and therapist have a collaborative relationship as they explore thoughts and feelings and work towards solutions, and uses a combination of scientific data along with humor to help people achieve change. He is in a long-term happy marriage and has two grown children.

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