Discussing your own problems with your children

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Discussing your own problems with your children

Parents all the time wonder, should I tell my kid if I lose my job? or I'm diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, what should I say? I think the principle of selective truth telling is what you want to think about. The younger the child, the less I'm going to be detailed about what I share. I'm going to share things that are going to see and be truthful about it. I don't want to lie even if it's a comforting lie because that cracks the foundation of trust in the family. Lying is a very poor coping strategy. Selective truth telling are limited, the older the kid the more I'm unlikely to tell them more. Another factor is how vulnerable is my child, are they showing symptoms already? If they are not, I'm more likely to tell them more than not. I'm looking for that middle ground with selective truth telling. Then there's also the issue of why should I let my kid have access to in the home. If I'm mad at their mother, do I triangulate them with that? I probably don't want to do that, I want to find out other outlets. This is why self care is so important as parent. If my self care is off, I'm much more likely to turn to my child for that.

See David Palmiter, PhD, ABPP 's video on Discussing your own problems with your children...


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David Palmiter, PhD, ABPP

Psychologist & Author

Dr. David Palmiter is a professor of Psychology and Counseling at Marywood University, the President of the Pennsylvania Psychological Association (2012-2013), a practicing and board-certified clinical psychologist with over 20 years experience, a Public Education Coordinator for the American Psychological Association, author of an award winning parenting book (times three), dad (of 3.0 children; 3.5 if you count the neurotic dog) and husband (of over 22 years to Dr. Lia Richards-Palmiter, who says she has 4.0 children as she counts David). Dr. Palmiter has over three dozen professional publications to his credit, has given over 200 continuing education workshops around the country and has completed over 300 public education projects, including for outlets such as the LA Times, US News and World Report, USA Today, Wall St. Journal and O Magazine. A central aspect of his professional mission is to put air under the wings of parents as they try to raise happy and self-actualized children. 

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