Experts say that parents can make a huge difference in how well their children adjust to a divorce and spare their children a lot of unnecessary extra pain, if the adults handle it well. The following tips can help parents help their children deal with their divorce:
- Realize that they cannot take away inevitable pain and stress from a divorce, because it simply hurts.
- View your future ex-husband or ex-wife as the parent of your child, regardless of his or her failures as a spouse, and the hurt feelings between you.
- Understand that when you have children and get a divorce, like it or not, your relationship with your ex-spouse must become a cordial business partnership as much as possible, for the sake of the children
- Don’t be disrespectful toward each other — which tends to put kids in the middle — or imply or say that the divorce is somehow the children’s fault.
- Tell the children that a parent’s love never will change, and the parents will continue involvement in the children’s lives.
- Manage their own emotions in front of their kids so they can create as positive an environment for the children as possible.
Source: "How to Help Kids Cope With Parents’ Divorce" by Kellie B. Gormly, published in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Thanks to Janet Langjahr for her post on this topic at the Florida Divorce * Child Custody * Domestic Violence Law blog and Ben Stevens at the South Carolina Family Law Blog.