Who and What Can Help Your Children

Who and What Can Help Your Children: Helpful Tips

  1. Tell the children about the divorce. Be honest and frank with them, without blaming the other parent. “We’ve both made mistakes”. Helping your children understand your divorce may be the most difficult task.
  1. Let the children know that both parents still love them even though living apart. Children of divorce often feel lost. They need assurance that they will be loved and cared for even after their parents separate.
  1. Learn to talk with your divorced spouse about matters concerning the children. Although divorce ends a marriage, it should not put an end to the family.
  1. Try to understand your own feelings and how to cope with them. Divorce has the potential for personal growth.  It need not be emotionally destructive.
  1. Help your children handle their feelings. Each child reacts differently. The kind of help they need varies with their age. Listen. Ask questions. Seek to understand. Again don’t blame the other parent.
  1. Think about the good things you shared in your marriage. This can help overcome bitterness, which often accompanies divorce.
  1. If you are a visiting parent, be punctual and faithful in your appointments. Communicate any changes quickly. Apologize. Children are hurt by broken promises.
  1. Tell the children only what they can grasp and understand. A school counselor or other therapist can help. 
  1. Avoid saying unkind things to the children about the other parent. Children should be free to form their own opinions.  They should be encouraged to see the good in each parent.
  1. Don’t use the children to spy on the other parent’s activities. Children should not be used as a “pipeline” for information.
  1. Keep the children out of your own fighting. Children should not be caught in the battleground between their parents.
  1. Try not to be a Santa Claus (if you are a visiting parent). That’s not healthy for your relationship. And it makes it harder for the parent who has the day-to-day care.
  1. Remember that you can’t buy the children’s affection through expensive gifts. The best gift is yourself, your time and your love.
  1. Don’t involve children with your new friends of the opposite sex too soon. Children need time to adjust to the separation of their parents before they can be expected to accept third parties.
  1. Seek professional help if your problems become more than you can handle.