Rafael M.T.Therapist says:8/18/13 9:49 PM
Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).
8/18/13 9:51 PM
I am sorry to know about this frustrating situation.
8/18/13 9:51 PM
Your message shows how concern you are about your sister's children, their well-being and how his would affect them now an din the long run.
8/18/13 9:57 PM
Any family who goes through crisis because of any core issue between parents, leading to living together but not more having a marital live, separation or divorce, would have to face many challenges, many which are unavoidable but necessary, which does not take away the concern and sorrow loved ones could also experience. But what makes of situations like this impact in a more or less negative or positive way children is the way each parent as individuals and both as parents do during this process, they way they cope with it, how responsible and assertive they happen to be coping with unavoidable challenges and problems in their new relationship, and how they continue to play their parental role.
8/18/13 10:02 PM
Children their age or younger are capable of understanding very well situations like this if they happen to have a good sexual education and are raised with an assertive and healthy approach. When these are limited, it could get tougher and harder to cope with but it continues to be necessary to work on teaching, sharing and supporting them as much as possible for them to first understand that this is not about them, but about their parents' differences, needs and expectations, that they would continue to be even better parents while taking better care of themselves, and that all would learn and grow from this challenging time in their lives.
8/18/13 10:05 PM
Again, depending on how well they have been raised, the sexual education they have received and how open and close communication they have with each other, this would be more or less challenging for the children. For example a family where homophobia is part of their formal belief system, would present a huge challenge for children to find out about this reality, but it would not be that way for children with a wiser education and who also feel loved and supported by both parents.
8/18/13 10:08 PM
When is the best time to tell them? The sooner the better. It depends on how both parents have chosen to cope with their marital lives and take care of their children from the moment she decided to acknowledge her reality and what she wanted for her life. Denying or avoiding reality would not help for sure, much better and necessary to educate, support and show real loving and healthy parenting to their children while working on rebuilding their lives.
8/18/13 10:14 PM
Children could continue to develop fine or even better if both parents do continue to improve their parenting and the way they take care of themselves as individuals. Many times people do choose to stay together into dysfunctional marriages because of children, and the little ones end becoming the real helpless victims of such wrong decisions. Much better to take full responsibility for their own choices and actions as adults and parents, and work as such to continue taking good and better care of their children. Most times professional psychotherapeutic support is necessary, from individual and marriage counseling to family therapy, specially when going through transitions like this and adjustments to new periods of life with parents separated-divorced and the challenges the parent's new sexual preference use to present. The sooner the children get good and healthy understanding and support about reality, the better they would cope and be prepared to learn and grow from these changes as children, and then as teenagers and adults too.
8/18/13 10:14 PM
Does it make sense?