5 Tips for Divorcing Parents
No magic words can eliminate the hurt children feel when they hear that their parents are divorcing. Although this is a sad time, there are steps that parents can take to minimize the impact that divorce has on their children.
Here are 5 tips that can aid in helping both parents and children going through divorce:
1. Have a discussion with your child
During a divorce, children experience a sense of loss and much confusion. Children always look to blame themselves first, however, it’s important to talk to your child and let them know how you feel and that it is not their fault. Be prepared to answer questions your children ask and have a healthy dialogue.
2. Keep arguments away from children:
Never badmouth your ex-partner, especially in front of your children. According to Kids Health, “Research shows that the single biggest factor in long-term adjustment for kids of divorce is the level of parental conflict they are exposed to. It puts kids in really difficult positions if they want to or have to take sides, or listen to negative things said about one of their parents.” Find a healthy outlet to let off steam such as a hobby, exercise, or venting to someone you can trust such as a close friend or therapist.
3. Acknowledge real events:
At the same time it’s important to leave your children out of the issues at hand, however, it is also important to explain to your children your spouse’s behavior if need be. For instance, if “one spouse has simply abandoned the family by moving out, you need to acknowledge what has happened. It isn’t your responsibility to explain the ex-spouse’s behavior — but if your kids want to ask you questions, it’s important to answer as neutrally and as factually as possible.” (Kids Health)
4. Don’t use children as a messenger:
As hard as it is sometimes, do not use your children as a messenger between you and your ex-partner. It’s important to communicate directly with the other person regarding important issues. Do not use and involve your children as a “go between.” Think of the other person as a business relationship. Appointments are made in order to talk about business, conversations are formal and agreements are explicit.
Last, but not least, as much as communicating with your ex –partner is important listening is just as important. Communication and listening go hand in hand. Even though you both not be on the same page it’s important to hear the other person out and acknowledge that you understand their point of view. “Listening does not signify approval, so you won’t lose anything by allowing your ex to voice his or her opinions.” (HelpGuide.org)
Written By: Sharan Kaur, Rust Built, Marketing Services
1. “Tips for Divorcing Parents.” KidsHealth.org. http://kidshealth.org/parent/positive/talk/divorce.html
2. “Tips for Divorced Parents.” HelpGuide.org. http://www.helpguide.org/mental/coparenting_shared_parenting_divorce.htm
3. “Top 10 Tips for Divorcing Parents.” Psychologytoday.com. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/suffer-the-children/201203/top-10-tips-divorcing-parents
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