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12 Ways to Protect Your Kids from Your Divorce

  1. Let your children know that the divorce is between you and your spouse and that they did not cause your separation. Your children need to know that they are not responsible for the divorce and cannot remedy the issues between you, and parents need to be open-minded about how divorce affects children.
  2. Spare your children the intimate details or issues that should remain private between you and your spouse.
  3. Strive to maintain continuity at home to allow your children a sense of stability, safety and security within their immediate environment.
  4. Take care of yourself during the divorce process so that you have the energy to take care of your kids.
  5. Do not disparage your soon-to-be former spouse and do not allow any third party to disparage them in front of your children or within your children’s earshot. Your spouse may be your ex, but he or she is their mother or father.
  6. Do not use your children as the go-betweens for communication between you and your spouse during or after the divorce. Maintaining an ongoing dialogue with your ex is your responsibility.
  7. Allow the children to have separate time with both parents. It is important for them to know they can have a healthy and happy relationship with both of their parents.
  8. Seek a qualified therapist for yourself, your children (with the consent of the other parent), and/or the family unit. You may need assistance along the way and counseling can help.
  9. Strive to set a positive example for your children by dealing with your former spouse in a respectful manner. Watching you maintain your composure during stressful periods will allow them to handle their own problems with methods that are civil and considerate.
  10. When your new relationship is well established and you are ready to introduce him or her to your children, do so in a manner that is honest and respectful of all concerned. Allow the children to get to know your new friend slowly over a period of time and be aware that they may have some conflicting emotions from time to time. Also, consider letting your ex know that you have a new relationship before introducing him or her to your children so that your former spouse does not have to hear it first from the children and offer to have your former spouse meet your new significant other first. Speak to your attorney or counselor regarding introducing your significant other to the children or your former spouse first, if you believe the introduction may cause issues with your children or your former spouse.
  11. The most important point to consider when you are going through the pain of a divorce, is keep the lines of communication open with your children. Talk to them and address their concerns, and take care of yourself so you can take care of them.
  12. Remember to keep your sense of humor. There is nothing like laughter to alleviate stress and keep even the most difficult of situations in perspective. The pain and suffering of divorce will heal over time, but allow yourself to step away from it occasionally and have a good time with your kids.