Tag Archives: teen therapy

Children, Teens, and Divorce in Bergen County

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Morrisa Drobnick, LCSW, staff writer and advice columnist of “KIDS Magazine” answers questions about children and divorce.

Q: My husband and I have been in a bad marriage for years. We have discussed divorce many times. We have two children. We try to be civil with each other, but often our anger flares up. At this point, we are staying together only for the kids. Are we doing the best thing? R.D. Paramus.

A: Dear R.D. You didn’t mention if therapy for your relationship had been attempted. If not, I always recommend therapy for couples and especially therapy to aid with the divorce decision. Indeed, divorce may be the only rational solution to a bad marriage. Evidence shows that children exposed to open conflict where parents terrorize, or strike one another, avoid each other, or are emotionally distant from one another are not well-adjusted. Reduce your post-divorce anger. Show your children that their parents can effectively guide them. Allow your children to maintain a close relationship to both parents. This will lead to a successful transition for your family.

Q: My parents are getting a divorce. I’m not sure how I feel. My parents are often angry. When I talk to my mom, she cries. When I go to my dad, he says, “Everything will be o.k.” I’m confused. C.W., Westwood.

A: Dear C.W. Confusion may be setting in because your feelings about divorce are changing as time passes. After you get over the shock of hearing the news, you may even be relieved. If your parents have been arguing a lot, it will be less tense in the house. Everybody is different, but most kids also go through a time of being angry. Don’t pretend things are o.k. if they’re not. It’s not your job to cheer everybody up. Find someone to talk to. If you have a friend whose parents are divorced; talk to them. Other relatives like grandparents, aunts, uncles can be helpful. You might talk to someone outside your family like a teacher, school counselor, club leader, or a parent of a friend. If they can’t help you, they will be able to suggest someone who can.

Children and Fear and Child Counseling in Oradell and Franklin Lakes, NJ

Morrisa Drobnick, LCSW, staff writer and advice columnist of “KIDS Magazine” answers a questions about children and fear.

Q – My son is afraid to go on the school bus. He is six years old and says he’d rather I take him and pick him up. What can I do? – A Working Mom, Hackensack.

A – Fears and phobias are common and within the normal range for a school age child. Focus your attention on helping your child cope with his fears. Ask him what makes him afraid of taking the bus. You may be surprised by his answer. A rattling window or the thought that the driver might not bring him home are both upsetting to a kid. Get him to express himself by role-playing, storytelling, or discussion.

Help him feel his inner strength. Acknowledge that life sometimes is scary. You could say, “Yes, I understand that you are afraid of going on the school bus, but I know you are brave and strong and it will be OK. I know you can do it.” Let him have his fears and learn how to handle them. Brainstorm with him about what he could do to conquer his fear or cope with it. Tell your child how you work at overcoming your fears. Don’t battle with him. Praise his progress. Tell him each day how well he is doing on the bus ride and remind him that tomorrow you know he will do even better.

This is a lesson here: Sometimes in life, we have to settle and compromise when we can’t have our first choice.

The Mars & Venus Counseling Center is here to help.  We are located in Teaneck, Oradell, and Ramsey. NJ.

 

 

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