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Cathy Meyer

How to Divorce Without Destroying Your Children

By January 6, 2013

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How well your children adjust to their parent's divorce depends completely on how successful parents are at keeping conflict out of their divorce.

Below are a few suggestions for parents who are interested in keeping their divorce from having long-lasting negative consequences on their children.

1. No fighting in front of the children:

Exposing your children to their parent's conflict is hurtful and damaging because it puts children in the middle of the conflict between their parents, the two people they love most in the word. You want a child who flourishes with the ability to handle conflict in a rational and mature manner? If so, you have to teach him/her by behaving in a rational and mature manner in front of the child.

2. Reassure your child that the divorce is not about them:

Children, especially those in their preschool years, often think they did something to cause the divorce to happen. Your children need to know the divorce is not due to anything they did or didn't do. They need reassurance that they will continue to be loved by both parents, even if Mom and Dad no longer live together.

3. Maintain your children's routine and schedule:

A regular routine helps children experience the world as a safe and predictable place. When their routine is disrupted, children experience increased levels of anxiety.

4. Be willing to co-parenting with your ex:

Parents help their children immensely when they are able to effectively co-parent with each other. Most experts and parents who have successfully maneuvered the difficult terrain of post-divorce co-parenting recommend "business-like" communication when dealing with parenting issues.

5. Respect your child's right to a relationship with the other parent:

It is the responsibility of all divorced parents is to encourage a positive, loving relationship between the child and the other parent. Allow your child to talk freely about what he/she does with the other parent; make sure your child knows that it is okay for him/her to enjoy the time spent with the other parent. Your child will love you for supporting a positive relationship with the other parent.

Comments
January 16, 2013 at 9:16 am
(1) Michael says:

Once you have kids, you have to put your feelings aside. This is not about you, or how hurt you are, it is about them and what they NEED. And what they need is security.

Arguing and being bitter and petty while going through a divorce ultimately means your kids will suffer more – and why would you want to do that to them?

January 17, 2013 at 7:03 am
(2) bob says:

easier said than done. yes it is possible no doubt…
… but seriously Michael please share with us what you have done in order to get over that bitterness and hatred towards your spouse….
…. or maybe you are the 1 that said goodbye to a marriage without anyone looking back..!?
please share more….bob

January 19, 2013 at 4:17 pm
(3) M says:

Great advice, but only works if both parents commit to playing by these rules. Any advice for those of us who are divorcing spouses who will not miss an opportunity for a back stabbing? Because, if the ethical parent plays by the rules & the unethical parent does not, it is more likely than not that the child’s relationship with the ethical parent will be damaged.

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