the disappearing act dating - Effects of dating on children after divorce

Divorce introduces a massive change into the life of a boy or girl no matter what the age.

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For the parent who divorces with a child, the priority is establishing a sense of family order and predictability.

This means observing the three R's required to restore a child's trust in security, familiarity, and dependency - Routines, Rituals, and Reassurance.

"If they can't be trusted to stay together and take care of the family, then I need to start relying more on myself." "If they can break their marriage and put themselves first, then I can put myself first too." "If they don't mind hurting me, then I can I don't mind hurting them." Now the adolescent can act aggressively to take control of his life by behaving even more distantly and defiantly, more determined to live his life his way, more dedicated to his self-interest than before.

He feels increasingly autonomous in a family situation that feels disconnected.

" Answering such worry questions with worst fears, the child's response can be regressive.

By reverting to a former way of functioning, more parental care-taking may be forthcoming.

The adolescent world is a more independent one, more separated and distant from parents, more self-sufficient, where friends have become favored companions, and where the major locus of one's social life now extends outside of family into a larger world of life experience.

For the young child, divorce shakes trust in dependency on parents who now behave in an extremely undependable way.

He now feels more impelled and entitled to act on his own.

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