Helping Children Cope
There are many things parents can do to help their children cope with the divorce.
Help the children understand what is happening in terms that they can understand.
Talk with them together.
Provide the children with reassurance that both of their parents will continue to love them.
Let your children know they did nothing to cause the divorce. No matter how much they may have misbehaved assure them they did not cause the divorce, or how much money they may have cost, etc.
Let them know there is nothing they can do that will bring their parents back together, but it is ok to want that to happen.
Maintain as much routine and predictability as possible. Children need order, especially when they are surrounded by so much disorder.
Never put down or talk bad or negative about the other parent.
Allow the children to love each parent equally. Don’t put them in situations that make them feel as though they have to choose sides or divide their loyalty.
Keep talking and communicating.
Allow the children to express their feelings without retaliation or judgment, even when it may hurt you to hear it.
Don’t fight in front of the children. Alleviate tension around the children as much as possible.
Give them permission to have fun with the other parent. Let them know it is ok to miss one parent when they are with the other.
Parents need to take care of their own needs, and have a way to deal with their own feelings.
Be careful not to assign unrealistic new roles to children, such as, “the new man of the house.” Don’t have children give up their childhood.
Provide two homes where children have a place with each parent. Have toys, clothes, books, etc. a place where they belong at each parents house.
Seek professional help. A child specialist can consult with parents to advise them on how to help their children through the process.
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