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Mom & Dad Are Getting A Divorce - Tips For You and Your Children

Creating a space for open dialogue with your children to discuss what is going to happen in regards to the divorce can ease the stress children may feel. A family meeting is a wonderful way to allow everyone especially in the beginning to start an open dialogue with Mom, Dad and the children to ask questions in a safe environment to both parents. Children are looking for the facts, like what about my toys, clothes and will I have a toothbrush at Mom’s and one at Dad’s? These are very important questions to a little person. Have your child make a list of items that he or she will need when going to the other parents new home. Allow your child to buy the toothbrush with you so they feel they are part of this new life.

Children have fears that Mom and Dad will not like each other anymore. I suggest telling your children that you and your ex-partner are friends now and you both love the children very much. You are not divorcing the children you are divorcing each other. Do not lie to your children, be honest with them, and explain that relationships end between partners, not between parents and children.

A family calendar at both homes would be beneficial for the children, so they know when they are with Mommy and when they are with Daddy. That will relieve the continual asking of “when am I with Dad this week?” question. You may even want to buy a small calendar for the child to have so they can write the days that they are with the other parent.

Posting an agenda on the fridge for upcoming family meetings can be very beneficial. Children often have so many questions in the beginning of a separation and divorce, having weekly family meetings can be a great calm time to go over the questions and the weekly plans and the new schedule.

Calling your ex-partner my EX or my EX HUSBAND or EX WIFE can also be very disheartening for children. I recommend using language like...the children’s father/mother. The word EX is so harsh!


One extremely important tip I can give you is please never say anything derogatory about the children’s mother or father in front of your children. Discuss your personal feelings with friends’ away from your children and remember children hear and see everything. If you are on your cell phone in the car, don’t for one minute think they cannot hear you even if they are watching a movie. They hear everything!

On transition day when you are picking up the children, it is not a time to discuss any heated issues at the door. If you have something to say write it out and pass the person an envelope or call them at a later time. A cordial hello and goodbye is the best way to go.

Your children are also sad and often angry about what happened. Both emotions are very normal and they will be wonderful in time as you will be....it is a healing process give it time and remember it is ok to cry in front of your children, as they will see you are healing as well.

One of my favorite books for younger children is called: "When Mom and Dad Divorce" by Emily Menendez-Aponte.

Angel

Can separation and divorce be respectful and amica...
Couple & Marriage Maintenance