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  • Writer's pictureKara Kohnen

Children and Divorce

The following material was provided by Kara Kohnen, LMFT of Grow Through Life Counseling, inc. which is a team of great therapists who love helping children and families. We can be reached for serviceshelping children and teens in San Diego at 619-549-0329 or

Divorce is a challenging time for any child or teenager in life and certain times can be more challenging than others. For any youth going through this transitional time in their family, lots of support and open communication with trusted adults is am important part of their healing process. The benefits of going to professional counseling provide a neutral place for the child to process what is happening in their family without the worry of having to take sides or hurt their parents feelings.

Common Symptoms of Children of Divorce:

Wishful thinking parents will get back together

Blaiming themselves

Belief they need to fix the problem

Pressure to keep the peace

Worry about when they will see parents aagain

Worry about life changes - school, homes etc.

Worry about money

Parenting Advice During Divorce:

Provide ongoing reassurance it is not their fault

Let them know both parents will still love them

Let them know it is okay for them to love both parents

Avoid speaking negatively about either parent in front of the children

Listen and stay calm with children’s responses and emotions

Allow children to ask questions

Allow for emotional response to the changes

Provide clear and honest responses to questions

Provide reassurance they are safe to decrease worry

Aim to keep routines as similar and consistent as possible

Encourage open feelings expression

Build hope for family being healthier and happier than before

Additonal resources:

Good Parenting Through Your Divorce by Mary Ellen Hannibel

Helping Your Kids Cope with Divorce the Sandcastles Way by Gary Nueman

Talking to Your Kids About Divorce by Jean McBride

Crazy Time by Abbigail Trafford

When Children Grieve by John W James and Russell Friedman

Kids books:

Living with Mom and Living with Dad by Melanie Walsh

Two Homes by Claire Masurel

Why Can’t We Live Together? The Kid Size answers to the King Size Questions about Divorce by

Madison Lovato and Lucas Lovato

Why Am I Going to Counseling? by Kara Kohnen

13 Reasons Why Am I Going to Counseling for Teens by Kara Kohnen

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