DIVORCE

Divorce Do’s

  • Do continually remind your children they are not to blame. Many children have illogical fears that they caused the divorce.
  • Do tell your children, again and again, that you and the other parent love them.
  • Do watch for your children’s behavior. Your children may not have the ability to name what they are feeling and why. However, if your children’s behavior is different, it is very likely that the behavior is a manifestation of the divorce. Seek professional counseling for your children should they exhibit either withdrawn or aggressive behavior toward themselves or others.
  • Do keep the lines of communication open between yourself and your children. It may take months for your children to ask questions. Your job is to make sure your children know you are open to answering any questions.
  • Do tell your children’s teachers and extracurricular leaders. These adults need to know about the divorce in order to best support your children, your children’s emotional state, and your children’s potential behaviors.
  • Do listen to your children’s emotional concerns without problem-solving for them. Listen without judgment. Take their feelings into consideration when making decisions that affect their lives, but do not allow them to make the decisions.
  • Do provide consistent parenting – each and every day.
  • Do plan for time each day away from the children to have a mini melt-down. By planning into your day, you will have it when you need it and you will avoid having it if front of your children.
  • Do arrange frequent and consistent contact for your children with both parents.
  • Do realize that your children may feel shameful regarding the divorce.
  • Do understand that even children who feel relief from the divorce may have many conflicting emotions (i.e. relief, blaming themselves for the divorce, and wanting their parents back together).
  • Do expect your children to play one parent against the other.
  • Do be flexible with the application of your temporary and permanent parenting plan. You cannot plan life. Life happens between plans.
  • Do tell your children you love them. . . often.