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Question
Posted by: felicity | 2011-02-18

divorce and the emotional effect on my 11 year old

Hi, I got divorced 2 years ago and my ex husband lives in another country and sees the kids every 2 months for a weekend and an occassional school holiday. At the time of the divorce up until now my youngest (now 11) has not verbalised anything emotionally however he has gained vast amounts of weight, gone through an antisocial stage (this is improving slowly) and would not and will not go and see a psychologist to discuss issues. My eldest aged 17 went for about 6 months and then decided he wasOk on his own and talks to me very openly about emotional issues affecting him. I went to see the psychologist to try and get ideas on how to help my youngest and she was adament he must make the decision to want help and I shouldn''t force it. One of the problems is that he moved into my bed when my ex left and has never left. I must admit I love having him there and knowing he is safe and sound however he has started puberty and the normal urges that hit teenage boys has begun and occassionally I have to ask him t stop " fiddling"  or he must go to his room. Occassionally he will begin the evening in his own bed and then during the evening come through to mine. Do I leave it alone and allow him to decide when he moves out or do I force the issue. If so how do I go about it without emotionally harming him?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Could the father help to pursuade the boy to see a counsellor / therapist ? And help him to understand that seeing someone is not a sign of weakness, or that he is WRONG to feel bad, but that he is clearly unhappy and deserves some expert help to enable him to feel better.
The psychologist is right that it is important for the boy to make this decision himself, for therapy to help, as a reluctant and defiant client who just sits there sullenly, helps nobody.
Continue gentle persuasion

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011-02-19

Could the father help to pursuade the boy to see a counsellor / therapist ? And help him to understand that seeing someone is not a sign of weakness, or that he is WRONG to feel bad, but that he is clearly unhappy and deserves some expert help to enable him to feel better.
The psychologist is right that it is important for the boy to make this decision himself, for therapy to help, as a reluctant and defiant client who just sits there sullenly, helps nobody.
Continue gentle persuasion

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