5 Simple Steps: Kids and Divorce

5 Simple Steps: Kids and Divorce

Parenting: Five Tips to Help Children when You’re Going through a Divorce

Have you divorced recently, and you and your ex seem to be moving on, but your kids are still having a tough time? It is common for children to have difficulty adjusting to their parents’ divorce, and it doesn’t make you bad parents. Here are five steps to help your children through a divorce, according to the book Children of Divorce: A Practical Guide for Parents, Therapists, Attorneys and Judges, by William Bernet, M.D., and Don R. Ash, J.D, M,J.S.

1. Give your children love and respect.

But also instill in them that they need to love and respect their parents as well, despite the changes in their parents’ relationship.

2. Help your kids have two homes.

Spending the week with mom in your old house and then the weekends sleeping on a pull-out couch at dad’s may make your children feel as if they’re staying at hotel, not with one of their parents. Give them a room or create some space for them so they know it’s theirs and that your new home is theirs too.

3. Find ways to create enduring family traditions.

That may mean spending all Christmases with mom and all Thanksgivings with dad, instead of trading off holidays or other occasions each year.

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4. Remember that your ex is still a parent.

He or she has rights and responsibilities after the divorce.

5. Ask for help.

If you still feel overwhelmed or need to vent, reach out to friends, family, church or support groups. You don’t have to take this on by yourself.

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