Talking to Children About Divorce: A Parent's Guide to Healthy Communication at Each Stage of Divorce

Talking to Children About Divorce: A Parent's Guide to Healthy Communication at Each Stage of Divorce

by Jean McBride MS, LMFT


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Marriage and family therapist Jean McBride has helped over 20,000 families navigate divorce. Now she shares her expertise with an in-depth guide to discussing divorce with your kids so you can support your child’s adjustment throughout the entire divorce process.

In Talking to Children About Divorce, Jean McBride provides you with the tools and encouragement to effectively communicate with your child about divorce. McBride brings her more than twenty-five years of specializing in divorce to guide you through crucial but difficult conversations and cultivate an environment of love and support throughout the divorce process. You’ll learn how to have honest conversations about different situations and emotions that may arise during divorce—from breaking the news to understanding resistance.

Whether you’re beginning the divorce process, or have been working through it for a while, Talking to Children About Divorce offers practical advice that will contribute positively to your child’s emotional wellbeing.

Learn to initiate open communication, with:

  • Concrete actions to help your children weather the emotions of divorce.
  • Useful scripts to guide you through a variety of situations throughout the divorce process.
  • Simple steps to improve communication, both with your former spouse and with your children.
  • 10 tips to maintain co-parenting success and promote healthy, happy, well-adjusted children.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781623156855
Publisher: Callisto Media
Publication date: 02/23/2016
Pages: 146
Sales rank: 319,934
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Jean McBride is a licensed private practice marriage and family therapist in Fort Collins, Colorado. She has worked with families dealing with divorce and remarriage for over 25 years. She is the president of Divorce Transitions, where she has developed curriculum and taught court-ordered parenting classes to over 20,000 divorcing parents. She is the author of Encouraging Words for New Stepmothers and the online course Are You Ready to Remarry?

Table of Contents

A Letter to Parents 9

1 Developing Healthy Communication Habits 12

The Power of Language 13

Being the Best Parent You Can Be 14

Managing Anger and Conflict 18

Keeping Kids Out of the Middle 23

Separating from Your Spouse, Not Your Kids 24

Leaning on Your Family Support System 26

2 Getting Kids to Open Up 28

Scheduling One-on-One Time 29

Listening without Judging 30

Listening with Empathy 32

Cultivating and Conveying Hope 34

Interpreting the Signals Your Child Is Sending 35

3 Preparing for the Talk 40

Early Warnings 41

Come Prepared with a Parenting Plan 42

Who Should Be Present 45

When to Tell the Kids 48

Where to Have the Talk 52

4 Having the Talk 53

The Big Message 54

Tune In to Body Language 55

Three Types of Divorce 56

Children's Needs at Different Ages 62

Infants and Young Toddlers; Birth to 18 Months 62

Older Toddlers: 18 Months to 3 Years 65

Preschoolers: 3 to 5 Years 66

Early School Agers: 6 to 8 Years 68

Preteens: 9 to 12 Years 69

Adolescents: 13 to 19 Years 72

5 Children's Reactions and Worries 76

Why Is This Happening to Me? 77

Is This My Fault? 78

What's Going to Happen to Me? 80

What Will the Future Bring? 81

Feel Invisible 83

Whose Side Should I Be on … Mom's or Dad's? 86

Is Dad Okay? 88

Mom Isn't Going to Love Me Anymore 89

6 Answering Your Child's Tough Questions 93

Where's Mommy? 94

Who's Going to Make Dinner? 95

Why Don't You Love Daddy Anymore? 96

Will You and Mom Get Back Together? 98

What Do I Tell My Friends? 101

Why Are You Crying? 102

Is Dad Coming to My Birthday Party? 104

Why Are You Fighting? 107

7 Responding to Sticky Situations 110

Taking Sides 111

Two Homes, Two Sets of Rules 113

Understanding Resistance 117

Issues with Affection 121

Troublesome Transitions 121

8 Looking Forward 124

Staying Connected 125

Warming Up to New Relationships 127

When the Other Parent Has a New Relationship 128

When You Have a New Relationship 129

My Child Doesn't Like My New Partner 131

Conclusion 135

References 137

Resources 138

Index 140

Acknowledgments 145

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