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Anyone have experience with kids in therapy due to divorce? - Page 2

post #21 of 33
Does anyone ever tell their children or step children that it's also ok to enjoy their visit, have a good time, and tell me all about it when you get home? I see so much emphasis on the negative.
post #22 of 33
I wonder if you're focusing on the sad feelings TOO much? I used to work with young children in a camp settings, and one of the things we learned to deal with home sickness was to refocus the kids onto something else. If a kid comes to you crying because they miss their parents, and you talk about how much they miss their parents, what they miss about home (pets, friends, siblings), how much longer they have to stay, etc it only reinforces the homesickness because it keeps them thinking about it.

What we would do was address it like this- acknowledge the feelings, then change the subject to something positive. With young kids, you can often be blatant about it and they don't even notice- something like this-
Kid- "I miss my Mommy, I want to go home, I'm so sad"
You- "I know you miss your Mommy, sometimes I miss people too. I'm sorry you feel so sad. Hey, what was your favorite thing that you did today? I heard you and Daddy went to the zoo, what was your favorite animal?"
Kid-"We saw an elephant..."
You- "Really? Tell me more about that? Was it a BIG elephant?"

It works slightly differently for some kids, and for a few kids its not very effective, but it might be something to try. The more you dwell on homesickness, the worse it becomes. Getting her interested in talking about something fun not only distracts her, but reminds her about the fun things she gets to do.
post #23 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kismet_fw View Post
Does anyone ever tell their children or step children that it's also ok to enjoy their visit, have a good time, and tell me all about it when you get home? I see so much emphasis on the negative.
Yes. And I generally still get a tearful phone call from DS2 anyhow.

JSMa, you may not have much power over the outcomes for your DSD, but you have an awful lot of influence. What you do, how she sees you handle these situations, will stay with her for life. Believe in yourself. :
post #24 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kismet_fw View Post
Does anyone ever tell their children or step children that it's also ok to enjoy their visit, have a good time, and tell me all about it when you get home?
Yes. We do. And I know my ex and his wife do, with my sons. It is so much nicer that way. I feel for families - particularly non-custodial ones, who get to see the kids a minimum amount of time anyway - where the other parent is influencing the child to feel upset about spending time with them. That's rotten.
post #25 of 33
Thread Starter 
Reaching out to Mom isn't going to work...

She has been very snippy and overall not very nice towards me since this all came up this weekend. She even emailed me yesterday and told me not to email her anymore. I had emailed her about a fax number to send the consent form H had to sign for DSD to go to counseling.

She is really angry with us for talking to our therapist about DSD and she told us we had no right to do so. H told her it wasn't like the therapist was trying to diagnose DSD... we didn't bring DSD in... we were just talking about some issues going on at home. He told his ex that as DSD's Father he had every right to consult a professional opinion about something he has been concerned about.

She won't even let us fax the consent form back to the doctor... even though it has both their signatures on it... she wants us to fax it back to her so she can fax it.

I can understand her being upset and concerned... but I'm not entirely sure why she is being so hostile towards us.
post #26 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kismet_fw View Post
Does anyone ever tell their children or step children that it's also ok to enjoy their visit, have a good time, and tell me all about it when you get home? I see so much emphasis on the negative.
In my post I wrote that we do that.
post #27 of 33
"She is really angry with us for talking to our therapist about DSD and she told us we had no right to do so."

That is SO MESSED UP. "How dare you try to be healthy! I want your family to continue to be sick! I want our daughter to be unhappy when she's with you, because my eternal goal since the day you walked in on me and my boyfriend and divorced me has been to alienate our daughter from you completely!" (Of course, you can pay continue you to pay child support until she's 18.)

I am generally no fan of your husband, JSMa, but when it comes to dealing with the mother of his dd#1 he has my full and complete sympathy.
post #28 of 33
I said this in another post but wanted to emphasize it: I think mediated counseling for all the adults would be really helpful. If you have to go to court to get it mandated, I would try to do that. It's clear that there is a LOT of conflict between the houses and you guys aren't even close to on the same page and there seems to be a bad stew of denial, defensiveness and blame being passed around. That's got to be disasterville for your dsd. If there were two next steps I'd take they would be: 1) therapy for your dsd; 2) fighting to get mediated counseling for all the adults.

Btw, I don't think trying to re-focus kids on the positive when they are in genuine distress (which it sounds like this child is) is all that helpful. I'd read the book Between Parent and Child for ideas on how to empathize and support children in naming and understanding and dealing with their feelings.
post #29 of 33
Thread Starter 
Would DSD's therapist be able to recommend a mediator?

How would you go about looking something like that up?
post #30 of 33
I would assume your family court would have a list of recommendations. Based on your most recent posts on the other thread, it seems like it's a pretty key step.
post #31 of 33
FTR, I think the law entitles your husband to seek the care he deems appropriate for his daughter during his parenting time, even mental health care. He's just required to notify his ex about it, just as she is legally required to notify him of any care she seeks for their daughter.

We've gone to court before over this misconceived assumption that only the primary custodial parent is allowed to take care of the child! That's not true. They're both her parents. You and your husband are not just weekend babysitters, regardless what his ex would like to think!
post #32 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
Would DSD's therapist be able to recommend a mediator?

How would you go about looking something like that up?
We had good luck with mediators through a Collaborative Divorce group in our area. Try www.collaborativepractice.com
post #33 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Holland73 View Post
Anyway, every week he excitedely looks forward to going to his "toy doctor" appointment. She doesn't try to make him "come up with feelings on the spot." They play together and through this playtime, they talk.
this is exactly what play therapy should look and feel like!

also, this:

Quote:
As a trained professional, she knows how to bring this conversation around to address something that is bothering him and when he says he doesn't want to talk about it (which he often does in the beginning of the session), she lets it alone. But most of the time, as he settles into the session, he brings it back up with her.

What I also enjoy about the experience is to be able to talk to her myself from time to time about any issues we are having at home. She gives great advice, suggestions and insight to help me be a better, more aware mommy.
It sounds like things are moving forward... I am so glad your step-daughter will have a safe place to talk about whatever it is that she is working through.
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