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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Healing the children

You and your church can start organizations to help kids struggling with divorce

"It's critical that people see that children are affected [by divorce]," says Kathy Helt, administrative director of the Children of Separation and Divorce Center, Columbia, Md. "We find society still wants to blow it off and say it's no big deal. Yet divorce is a traumatic experience for kids and parents."

Psychologists say divorce, like any other loss, engenders a predictable set of emotions. Under the best circumstances, these emotions move through several stages, including denial, anger, bargaining, depression and, finally, acceptance. A well-adjusted child will eventually reach the last stage, but without help may become stuck for decades.


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