Helping Your Children Through a Separation and Divorce
When parents separate and decide to divorce, they have the difficult task of restructuring a family. Children often are confused, angry, frightened, and sad about what is happening in their lives. Here are some things parents can do to help their child:
– Don’t criticize the other parent in front of your child.
– Don’t ask the child to choose between his or her parents.
– Keep visitation schedules clear and consistent. Keep changes to the visitation to a minimum as much as possible.
– Assure your children that they are not the cause of the separation or divorce.
– Don’t have your child act as a messenger between parents. This puts children in the middle of the conflict unnecessarily.
– Give your child consistency and limits.
– Enforce the relationships the child has with other family members – both your family members as well as the other parent’s family members.
– Remember that both parents will have to keep in contact about child-related issues at least until the child turns 18 (if not longer). It’s best to implement good communication skills from the beginning to avoid misunderstandings.