When the family disintegrates, achild's sense of self is threatened, even if he maintains strong ties to both parents.
Neuman recalls, "This 13-year-old kid once said to me, 'I feel, now that my parents are separated, that Idon't exist.'"While most children don't articulate their feelings so strongly -- in fact, most shrug or say "okay"if asked how they're coping with a parental split -- therapists who work with children of divorce agreethat divorce makes kids question who they are, where they came from, and where their lives are headed.
"They told me I was too old to date."Since then, Eva and her 13-year-old son have had many discussions about her relationships with menand his with girls.
He once waited up for her when she was out on a date and asked, "How did it go? Later, the two discussed her difficulty ending the relationship.
You don't want them to be blindsided by the decision or hear about it from someone else.