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Question
Posted by: Nadia | 2020/01/13

Support for the kids during divorce

Husband and I have started divorce mediation our kids are 4 and 7 years we have not told them. I will be moving out our home with the kids and I wanted to know if you could recommend a therapist in Cape Town to support the kids once we break the news. I am unsure of how we approach the matter with children considering their age and seek guidance.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink
- 2020/03/31

Hello Nadia,
We are not able to recommend specific doctors or therapists on these forums, for a number of good reasons. I don't know who might be conducting "divorce mediation" with you, but surely they would be able to recommend some counsellors with experience in helping children in such situations ?
I an offer some general thoughts.  One is that it is often not practical to"not inform" children in situations like this. Even if, sensibly, you are both being careful not to argue in front of the children, they are often aware of tensions and conflict.  When not given simple calm information, they may fantasize about what MIGHT be going on, and it's also quite common for children to worry that the problems they notice might be their fault ; so re-assurance that they are still very much loved by both of you, and not at all responsible for the problems mom and dad are dealing with, is often useful.
In all sorts of crises, children tend to very much respond to their parents moods and emotions : if you are reasonably calm when around them, they may find it much easier to be calm themselves.  If Mom or Dad seem to be very angry, sad, or even frightened,  this is more disturbing to children.
Any experienced child counsellor / child psychologist, or professional counsellor working particular with family therapy or even divorces and separations, should be able to be useful.

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