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Children and Divorce: Nine Things to Do and Not to Do

By Nottage and Ward on January 23, 2013

In 2011, over six million U.S children were coping with living with divorced parents. Many children may need help getting through their parents’ divorce. As reported on webmd.com, family therapist, Isolina Ricci, PhD, author of Mom’s House. Dad’s House, suggests using the following nine tips to lessen the negative effect of divorce on children:

  • Do not denigrate your spouse in the eyes of your child.
  • Do not use your children as substitute therapists. Don’t confide in them about adult matters such as money worries, for example.
  • Do not stray away from family routines. Try to keep change to a minimum.
  • Ask only general questions about time spent in your ex-spouse’s home. Don’t be meddlesome.
  • Don’t give in to feelings of guilt you may have over the divorce. Remain the parent you always were. Don’t shower your child with gifts or privileges in order to “make up” for the divorce.
  • Do go look for help from a family therapist or mediator if you and your ex-spouse cannot get along without being hostile to one another.
  • Do learn as much as you can about helping children cope with divorce. There are agencies that specialize in helping families understand the effects divorce can have on children.
  • Do include your ex-spouse in your child’s life and activities as much as possible.
  • Do look for signs in your child that he or she may be having coping problems.

Signs of problems coping with divorce may include bedwetting or regressive behaviors in small children. In older children signs may be withdrawal, aggression, depression, excessive anger, and difficulties at school. The best scenario is to get along with your ex-spouse. This could be the best gift you could give your child.

The experienced family law attorneys at Nottage and Ward want to help you protect your children’s best interests. Call us at (312) 332-2915 to learn more about a child custody arrangement that will work best for your family. For convenience, you can also contact us online.

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