Research has found that, when parents separate, the more cooperative and respectful the parents can be with one another, the better it will be for the children. The collaborative divorce model helps support a healthy outcome for the whole family – parents and children alike.
Here are six tips to help your children cope with divorce:
- Never speak negatively about your ex in the presence of your child. Focus on the positive (even if that seems difficult at times), or at least do your best to remain neutral. It’s unfair to put your child in a position where they are forced to choose sides.
- Always remember that your child needs both parents to grow into a healthy adult. Maintain a respectful, cooperative, working relationship with your ex. Put the child’s well being ahead of any conflicts between the adults.
- If your child complains about the other parent, attend to their upset and frustration. Let them vent without making the other parent wrong.
- Allow your child to grieve and express all of their feelings, including their anger and upset towards you.
- Communicate directly with your ex. Don’t put your child in the middle and force them to serve as the go between.
- Reassure your child that the divorce is absolutely not their fault. Grownups fall in and out of love with each other, but they never fall out of love with their kids.
Bea Ivory-Chambers is a divorce coach at Collaborative Practice Marin. www.beaivorychambers.com
Photo Credit: Ann Buscho, Ph.D.