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Help your kids get through divorce by being proactive

 

If you ask most parents who are going through divorce what their top priority is during the split, they will tell you that priority is the welfare of their children. It makes perfect sense and in general, most people agree that the children should be the top priority. But as we know, things don’t always turn out as planned, especially when emotions and stress overtake us.

Even when a divorce is contentious, it’s important that parents slow down and remember their children. While the adults involved in the process may feel like they have some sense of control and understanding of what is going on, in most cases the children do not. They are not of the age to understand the detailed intricacies of divorce and may not be able to view it in a logical or rational way. For that reason, it’s important that parents handle the divorce carefully as it relates to their children.

 

First, don’t fight in front of your children. This may be easier said than done, especially if you live together, but it’s definitely worth the effort in the long run. During this process it may also be helpful to get your children into counseling. It may be difficult for kids to express their feelings and even more difficult to express it to a parent who is divorcing.

Make sure that parenting time with either of the two parents is guilt-free. That means that your children should never feel bad about spending time with the other parents no matter how much you may dislike them. When you are with your child, establish new traditions. With a split may come a loss of certain traditions so it may be fun for the child to create new ones that they can look forward to.

Finally, discuss the divorce with your child as a team. Keep it simple and short and make sure they understand that the split is not their fault. Remember that your child may end up acting out as a way to cope with the divorce. Keep the lines of communication open and be ready to support your child through this process. While divorce can be an added challenge in a child’s life, it doesn’t have to get in the way of them leading a happy and healthy life.

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Goddard & Malmquist
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