In the second installment of our series on guiding your children safely through your divorce, we focus on what your children worry about and how to reassure them.
Recognize that even if you ask your children what they are worried about, they may not be able to verbalize their concerns. Here are some ‘worries’ that children typically have during divorce:
1. Children worry about the parent who is leaving:
a. Where will Dad live?
b. How will Mom manage?
c. Will Dad be safe?
d. Will Mom be comfortable and happy?
2. Children worry that they will be forced to take sides by their parents, grandparents, or other family members.
3. Children worry that they will have to choose one parent over the other.
4. Children worry about how family occasions such as birthdays and holidays will be celebrated.
5. Children worry about disrupted routines. Who will take care of them when they’re sick? Who will take them to soccer practice or piano lessons? Who will sign their report cards?
1. Once you have identified your children’s concerns, respond as honestly as possible to them.
2. Share important decisions such as living arrangements as soon as they are made.
3. Make sure you children you both will consider their feelings when making important decisions.
4. Reassure your children that things will work out and life will improve.
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©2016 Alpha Center for Divorce Mediation