Family Changes

(ADHD, Disabilities, Eating Disorders, Divorce, Step-Families, Foster Care, or Incarceration of a Parent)

How do you tell your kid or teen about a major family change?

  • Do wait until you and your spouse have made a firm decision about the family change before you tell your children.
  • Do make sure that both Mom and Dad are there to break the news about this change, and to reassure your kids that you both still love them.
  • Don’t blame each other in front of the children. Your kids or teens need to know that major changes in families happen.
  • Do explain the reasons for this change in your family, but on a level your child or teen can understand.
  • Do make very clear that this family change is an adult issue or decision, and is not in any way the kids’ fault or their decision to make or change.

Helping Kids Adjust:

  • Don’t fight with your spouse in front of your children or teens.
  • Don’t talk badly about the absent parent to your children or teens.
  • Don’t ever ask your child or teen to take sides.
  • Do help your children keep up with their usual routines as much as possible during this change.
  • Do keep consistent. Let your kids or teens know what you expect from them, and what they can expect from you.
  • Do give your kids or teens extra attention during this time.
  • Listen to their concerns.
  • Do create your own “family of choice” – people who love you and your kids, and are willing to become a part of your lives.
  • Do seek professional help for your child or teen if the adjustment is especially difficult.

What kids or teens can do for themselves:

  • Do understand and realize that many other families go through changes that affect everyone in the family. You are not alone.
  • Do work on recovering from the loss of the “Ideal” family.
  • Don’t let anger toward your parents keep you in the past.
  • Try to think of something funny for a while.
  • Try to look for the positive things in life.
  • Try to have a good cry.
  • Try to talk to friends, adults, your pet, or your parents about your concerns.

Suggested Readings For Parents and Children:

  1. Taking Charge Of ADHD-The Complete Authoritative Guide For Parents (Book for Parents)
  2. Cory Stories: A Kid’s Book About Living With ADHD (Book for Kids)
  3. Help Is On The Way: A Child’s Book About ADD (Book for Kids)
  4. Eagle Eyes: A Child’s Guide To Paying Attention (Book for Kids)
  5. The Survival Guide For Kids With ADD or ADHD
  6. The School Survival Guide For Kids With LD (Book for Parents and Kids)
  7. What About Me? When Brothers and Sisters Get Sick (Book for Kids)
  8. When Your Child Has An Eating Disorder-A Step By Step Workbook For Parents and Other Caregivers (Book for Parents)
  9. Help Your Teenager Beat an Eating Disorder (Book for Parents)
  10. Step By Step: A Guide To Stepfamily Living (Book for Parents)
  11. The Step-Tween Survival Guide: How to Deal With Life in a Stepfamily (Book for Teens)
  12. Stepliving for Teens: Getting Along With Stepparents, Parents, and Siblings (Book for Teens)
  13. My Dad Is Getting Married Again (Book for Kids)
  14. When Mom And Dad Separate: Children Can Learn To Cope With Grief From Divorce (Book for Parents and Kids)
  15. When A Parent Marries Again: Children Can Learn To Cope With Family Change (Book for Parents and Kids)
  16. My Life Turned Upside Down, But I Turned It Rightside Up (Book for Kids)
  17. What In The World Do You Do When Your Parents Divorce (Book for Kids)
  18. While We’re Apart – Ideas For Staying Connected (Book for Parents and Kids)
  19. Goodnight, Daddy (Book for Kids)
  20. Missing Rabbit (Book for Kids)
  21. Surviving Divorce: Teens Talk About What Hurts and What Helps (Book for Teens)
  22. The Divorce Workbook for Teens (Book for Teens)
  23. Now What Do I Do: A Guide to Help Teenagers With Their Parents Separation and Divorce (Book for Teens)
  24. When Andy’s Father Went To Prison (Book for Kids)
  25. My Daddy Is In Jail (Book for Kids)
  26. Maybe Days: A Book For Children In Foster Care (Book for Kids)
  27. The Star: A Story To Help Young Children Understand Foster Care (Book for Kids)
  28. Kids Need To Be Safe: A Book For Children In Foster Care (Book for Kids)
  29. Keeping It A Secret: Teens Write About Foster Care Stigma (Book for Teens)