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Helping Children Get Through A Divorce

One of the most important things for a divorcing couple to understand is that while they may no longer be together, they will still have a lifetime bond as parents of their children. It is essential that divorcing parents are able to communicate openly with each other about their children. Personal issues between the couple should not be allowed to interfere with what is best for the children.

If possible, parents should be together when they tell their children they are getting a divorce. It should never be left to one parent to deliver the news. This allows the children to see the parents united and the children will not feel as if they are only getting one side of the story. Never tell children about a divorce unless it is certain. If divorce is only a possibility and you and your spouse are trying to work out your issues, do not bring your children into the matter.

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Try not to tell children that you are divorcing if the timing is wrong. For instance, do tell a child about a divorce if he or she is preparing for a performance, sporting event, trip, getting ready to leave for school or any other activity. This discussion should take place when your child will have the necessary time to allow the news to sink in and so that he or she can talk with you and express his or her emotions.

Give children a reason for the divorce. If you do not, children may internalize the divorce and feel they are to blame. However, do not give children details they are not emotionally capable of handling. Something general should be told to the children such as, “Mommy and Daddy cannot live together anymore. We have tried to be happy, but we fight too much. We think it is best if we do not live together anymore.”

Children will have a myriad of emotions during a divorce and you should be empathetic to their feelings. Children may experience anger, depression, anxiety, school problems, adjustment problems and more. Allowing children to express their emotions and ask questions will help them heal.

Parents should keep a united front with their children after they are divorced. If possible, both parents should attend school functions, sporting events and birthday parties of the child. A room should be made at both homes for the children and visitation between the absent parent should be regular. Above all, children should be told and be made to feel that they are still loved by both parents.

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