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Selah R, M.S. LPC
Selah R, M.S. LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 582
Experience:  Licensed Professional Counselor; over 13+ yrs exp working with adults, teens, & families/couples.
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How should a mother, 45 and presently clean and sober, explain

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How should a mother, 45 and presently clean and sober, explain to her 10 yr. old son that his father, in law inforcement, forced her to leave her 10 year old son, husband and home, --divorcing her--after she got a DUI?.
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I don't think a 10 year old has the emotional and mental capacity to understand the information. Telling him puts a burden on his shoulders and psyche that he doesn't deserve to have at such a young age. Mom needs to find a counselor, friend, or support group with whom she can share her betrayal, frustration, and sadness over this issue. But her son is still a child and deserves to have a childhood as long as he can. When he is a teen or older, then he can better understand all the issues involved and better accept the information (and see how all the pieces fit and why the divorce happened).

But until then, it's something mom has to keep for adult ears only.

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
SELAHR, She has told me her son will question:"Why are you asking me that?", or pull away from her touch, ie: light hugs, at times. Could/should I tell her your logic about his "being too young" might cause this reaction?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Accepted..just want to be sure SELAHR gets addition
Yes, kids at that age aren't as emotional intelligent as we assume they are. He probably still has a hard time accepting, much less knowing how to process and respond to, two or more conflicting emotions aimed at the same event or person. It's hard for kids to know how to love a parent (like Mom) while also being angry and scared that mom might leave him (the divorce, feeling like she might be partially to blame, fearing that his parents want to leave him, etc). As adults we want to give them all the facts so they can see how complicated it is, or to see that we don't like the divorce either. But they can see it and process it like we can. She might want to look at a book called Divorce the Sandcastles Way to better understand how to answer his questions and address his concerns in age appropriate ways. Selah
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