Eva L. Both boys were brimming with news about Daddy’s new friend, Joanne. But when she referred to their father as someone who was dating, the children were quick to insist that she was wrong. Given the power to vote on the relationship, the children cast “no” ballots and told their dad that, per his earlier declaration, Joanne couldn’t move in until after they went away to school. The story illustrates the confusion and anxiety children often feel when parents, eager for some measure of happiness and success in a new relationship, struggle over how much distance to place between their children and a newly developing romance. Gary Neuman, L. Neuman is creator of a divorce therapy program for children mandated for use in family courts by many states. The power of the reunion fantasy is not to be underestimated, says Neuman, observing that some childrencling to the belief that their parents will get back together even after one parent has remarried. The reasonis simple: A child’s own identity is very much tied to that of his family.
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