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Helping Children Cope with Divorce

by Graham Norris on October 28, 2013

mom_kid_dock_150Divorce proceedings can be incredibly difficult for all concerned. But the experience may be particularly devastating for children, as discussed in a 2013 article featured on WebMD.

Isolina Ricci, Ph.D suggests nine “do’s and don’t’s” for parents who are concerned about how their divorce may affect their children in the short and long term.

  1. Don’t unburden yourself to your children about “grown-up” concerns such as finances or arguments between you and your spouse. Such discussions should be limited to other trusted adult friends or professionals, such as a licensed counselor or your attorney.
  2. Don’t “bad mouth” your spouse in front of your children, no matter how upset you may be at him/her.
  3. Don’t “quiz” children about the habits or “goings-on” at the home of the other parent. It is appropriate to ask your children questions about what they do there, but don’t pry.
  4. Don’t add any additional major changes into your children’s lives if at all possible. Make efforts to maintain as many family routines and community ties as you can.
  5. Do parent your children as you have in the past. Children feel more secure in a structured environment with which they’re familiar.
  6. Do encourage your children to communicate with the other parent when they have news to share, or even just to talk for a while. Notify the other parent about upcoming events involving school, sports, etc.
  7. Do seek out information about how to help children cope with divorce.
  8. Do seek help for children coping with divorce who are exhibiting negative behaviors For example, younger children may regress and exhibit behaviors such as bedwetting or clinginess. Older children may show signs of anger, aggressiveness, depression, or may become withdrawn. Problems in school may also result. Trusted, qualified therapists to whom children can express their feelings freely can be tremendously helpful in these circumstances.
  9. Do your best to interact with your spouse without hostility. If you simply cannot do so, seek professional help. Therapists, mediators and even attorneys may be able to suggest ways you and your spouse can develop a more pleasant friendly way of communicating.

These nine “do’s and don’ts” may help alleviate the negative effects which divorce can have on children.

Attorney Graham Norris and his associates at the Norris Law Group serve the residents of Utah County and throughout Utah in the area of divorce. Contact them today at 801-932-1238 or online for a free consultation.

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