When children are part of the mix when there is a divorce there are several unique considerations the parents need to make:
1. How to tell the children.
Some children do not know their parents are about to divorce. To minimize the blow the best way to tell them is to do it together. All of the children and both of the parents should sit together. The message should be: Mom lover you. Dad loves you. There is nothing you did to cause the divorce and there is nothing you can do to prevent it from happening.
This message should be repeated often to reassure each child that their feelings are important. They should feel safe with the split up of the adults.
Children do not need to know the reasons for the breakup. Nor should they be used as conduits for messages between their parents.
2. It takes a village.
Once the decision is made to divorce either parent should call the children's teachers; coaches; minister or rabbi or any other adult with whom the child interacts. These people will be able to monitor a child's behavior, mood or academic skills to see if the divorce is having an adverse effect.
3. Issues to be resolved between the parties-- Custody!
In mediation one of the biggest disagreements is over the amount of time each parent will spend with the children. Mothers frequently want 100%. This is an unrealistic expectation when the father has been a regular part of a child's life. It's always our goal to reach a 50/50 division of time provided a parent's work schedule allows them to provide enough time for homework; extracurricular activities and propular