A Parent's Guide to Children And Divorcee
A Parent's Guide To Children and
By Maury D. Beaulier, Esq.
lie to your children with
stories like "Dad is visiting relatives". Children know if you are trying to
hide something, even if the purpose is honorable.
DO talk to your children.
Give them simple and straight-forward answers without vilifying or
blaming the other parent.
DON'T put your children in
the middle. That means don't ask them where they want to live or who they want
to live with.
DO explain to your children
that the divorce is not their fault. This message is best given by both parents
together. Children naturally assume they are responsible for the divorce.
DON'T use children to relay
messages to the other spouse, even messages related to visitation. Children need
two parents even if the parents don't see eye to eye or have different
philosophies of child rearing. Placing children in the middle tears those
relationships causing children to withdraw or become depressed.
DO seek counseling for your
children if they are having a difficult time adjusting. Counseling is most
effective when both parents are supportive and individually involved.
DON'T interrogate your
children when they return from visitation with the other parent. Questions like
"what did he feed you" or "who is mommy seeing" pressures children to take
sides. This pressure may result in depression, anger, falling grades, and
DO listen to your children
as they express concerns over the divorce.
DON'T make visitation or
custody arrangements directly with the children without first consulting the
other parent. If there are conflicting plans, this places the other parent in
the role of the "bad guy", having to say "no" to a child's expectations.
DO be flexible in your
parenting schedule. Schedules serve a purpose, but when they are used as rigid
structures to control access time with children, they serve as a flash point for
conflict. When that happens, children blame themselves for the parental dispute.
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