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How to Minimize the Effect of Your Divorce on Your Children

Posted by admin on 27th April 2006

The best way to minimize the effect of your divorce on your children of course is to have both parents involved as to the children’s scheduling. These can be accomplished if both parents are agreeable and have the children’s best interest at heart. The schedule, that you both must agree on include bedtime, homework, friends, and even what television shows they are allowed to watch. If one parent sets a bedtime of 10pm while the other one has it set for 9pm you are sure to see problems arise. Children need stability and security and when both parents can agree on just some of the basics it will really help the children to understand that both parents are still caring for them in the same manner as before.

The most important thing to remember to help your children is to never under any circumstances, get into disagreements about the children in front of them. Do not think that since they are not in the room that they can not hear. If you do have disagreements and of course you will, it is best to pick a time to discuss these things when the children are at school or over at a friends house.

Children just like adults need to feel loved, appreciated, and need to have self worth. This can be achieved by just a bit of effort on the part of one or preferably both parents. Have your children join different clubs so they can feel good about their accomplishments and be sure that at least one parent is present at their games, practices, or anywhere they need the loving support and admiration of a parent.
Be attentive! You should be able to tell if your child is depressed, showing signs of anger, or if they are becoming reclusive. These are warning signs. Your children will need more attention during this time, so they need to understand that neither parent is leaving them. One parent may live somewhere else but they are only a telephone call away, unless there are reasons that warrant no contact.

Be honest! Be honest with your children. You can answer there questions in an adult manner without bashing your ex-spouse. If they are asking questions about why, the simplest answer is that you both agreed to live separately. Just answer their questions very simply and never go into details that they do not need to know. They are under enough stress by losing a parent.

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How to Help Children Cope with Moving to a New Home

Posted by admin on 27th April 2006

Moving for anyone is a stressful time no matter the reason for the move. Moving causes sadness and the feeling of loss. The loss of familiar places, things, and friends is a large part of moving that can bring on many other emotions. The unknown can also bring on many other emotions in both children and adults, not knowing what the new place will be like, will they be able to make new friends, and even wondering about their own belongings. When you compile these emotions along with the feelings that children have over the divorce of their parents you can have a time bomb just waiting to explode.

Children react to moving different according to their ages and their personalities, and children of divorced parents are not just moving to a new location with their parents, they are leaving one parent behind. This can be very traumatic and you will need to help your child during this time express his feelings, allow him to help with the move, and help him make the move an adventure instead of the end of all that he knows and loves.

Giving your children your time and attention is one of the most important things you should do when you are in the process of moving. Take time to play and interact with your child and keep as close to your normal routine that you can. If they have any special teddy bear or toy do not pack that item and be sure they know exactly where the item is.

If they are old enough to help with the moving process allow them to help you pack their belongings, this way they will know what box each of their items are in. It would also be a good idea to allow them to make their own markings on each box, this way they will know that their items are coming and will be able to find them easily.

No matter, the age of the child, many school age children are involved in various activities outside of school and they do no want to leave their friends. You can help with this as well. Go to the new place you are moving, walk around the neighborhood, check out the school and learn about other clubs in the other area they may want to join. Find out about club scouts, girl scouts, what the clubs and activities the school may offer and any other hobbies that your child has been enjoying.

The main thing to remember is to let your child understand that you are also having some of the same feelings, help them to understand that this will be a new adventure for all of you.

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How and What to Tell Your Children about Your Divorce

Posted by admin on 27th April 2006

How and what to tell your children about your divorce has a lot to do with the age of your children. Many times your children are just too young to comprehend exactly what is going on. The older children have probably seen it coming for a while even without you saying a word.

Let’s divide how you to talk to your child or children by age groups.

If they are under school age, they are not going to understand much at all and the best approach is to just let them know that mommy and daddy will not be living in the same house anymore. Assure them that both of you still love them very much but that daddy or mommy is going to live elsewhere. That is all they will understand anyway at this age. As they get older and begin asking questions then you can answer them with age appropriate answers.

If they are school age, then they probably have friends in school that have parents that are divorced. Children in elementary school do understand a lot more than you think; they can feel the tension in a home even if you never argue in front of your children. They already know something is up. It is best to just them know that you are getting a divorce. It would be best if at all possible for both parents to sit down with the children together and explain that it has nothing to do with them at all. That you both love them dearly but believe it is best that you do not live in the same home anymore.

The number one rule is never talk about bad about your spouse. Remember this person is also the parent to your child and your child loves both parents. You would like it if someone talked down about one of your parents so do not get in this trap and talk about your spouse in front of your child.

You also never want to talk about the divorce proceedings or what happens in court where the children can hear. And by all means do not let others including family or friends talk about your soon to be ex-spouse anywhere they may hear. This can cause your children to have resentment when they hear either one of their parents or others place blame on one of their parents.

Even if the case of adultery; do not speak about it in front of your children. It is best to just let your children know that you both still love them very much and still want them in your lives. The only thing that will change is where the other parent will be living or if they will be moving into a new home.

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Helping Children Deal with Moving Back and Forth between Two Homes

Posted by admin on 27th April 2006

Whether your children split the time between both parents equally or whether the time spent with one parent is only on weekends, holidays and a couple of weeks during the summer or more, they need help dealing with the situation.

Children need stability and familiarity in their lives and this can be very difficult when their belongings are in two different places. The set of rules can also be different between each household giving your child even more problems.

If it is at all possible both parents should sit down and talk about the set of rules and schedule for the child or children. Try your best to compromise. Remember, your child’s best interest is at the root of this. If you normally have dinner at 5pm, but your spouse, now that you no longer live together, does not get home from work until 6pm, then you should understand that dinner at 5pm is out of the question. Try to work out a schedule that you are both comfortable with including mealtimes, bedtimes, seeing their friends, etc.

Now, what about their belongings being in two different households? Well, the best way to do this with older children is to talk with them about what items that would like where or if they have special items that they wish to bring with them back and forth. Let them help make these types of decisions.

As for younger children, this can be very hard. If it is at all possible to have two of their toys that they normally play with, then you can have these at each home. But, of course for special blankets or teddy bears these will need to be an item that can also go back and forth with the children.

Make them feel special about having two homes and two special bedrooms etc. Always let them know how much both parents love them and want them to be happy, comfortable and secure no matter which home they may be at.

It may also help to allow them access to the telephone to call the other parent any time. The reassurance that the other parent is still there waiting for them can also bring them comfort and security.

If they are old enough, let them help decorate their new room in their new home. This will give them the feeling that it is their room even when they are not there. This will help them with feeling more comfortable and secure. You do not want them feeling that their presence is an inconvenience and you do not have room for them.

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Effects of Divorce on Children

Posted by admin on 27th April 2006

Even if you do not talk about your divorce in front of your children they will still be affected, there is no way around it.

There reactions will always be different and may not be the same as you would expect, you can not compare your children to other children that have parents that are divorced including any family members that may have recently gone through a divorce. Each child and family is completely different.

How your children handle the divorce takes in a lot of different things such as how much time they get to spend the with parent that is not living in the house with him, why you are divorcing, how each parent adjust to the divorce, how each parent in there separate homes discipline, the love and approval they receive from each parent, the willingness of each parent to talk with them about how they feel about the divorce, the hardship on finances, and even moving, or a new marriage.

Children feel stress in several different ways and you should notice and help your children through the divorce process, not just you but both parents.

The main thing that causes children to feel uneasy or stress is change. Children need routines and some type of scheduling to feel secure. During a divorce many things can change causing them to endure stress. They may have to have different meal times because now mom is now working, they may have to stay at the sitters longer, they may have a whole new routine to get use to. They may have lost friends due to a move or even due to cousins they normally play with are related to the ex-spouse that now lives elsewhere. All of this can be very confusing and stressful on children at any age.

Just as much as change can cause stress upon children so can being away from a parent. Children become attached to loved ones and things that they love and are use to such as their own bedroom, a favorite toy, their dog or cat, and even brothers and sisters, and of course each parent.

Children feel like they have lost one parent and they are very afraid of losing the one they have. They normally blame themselves, do not feel safe and protected, and also fell unloved. Children need that secure feeling that their parent will be there to tuck them into bed, pick them up from school and take care of them.

If there is any arguing and fighting happening in front of the children, this is one big problem for children. They not only feel angry, but this can cause them to feel alone and even guilty.

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Dealing With Christmas and Other Holidays Post-Divorce

Posted by admin on 27th April 2006

All holidays after a divorce can be very very hard on children. Their once favorite times of the year celebrating with their family have now become a battling zone. Each parent desires the holidays to be spent with their children and other family members and do not want to share this time with their ex-spouse and their family. So, there are the children stuck right in the middle. Now, the holidays are becoming a time the children would rather wish to ignore that to have to choose between parents.

If this above situation sounds like your post divorce holidays then you must step back and think about what you are doing as parents to your children.

There are ways that you can deal with Christmas and other holidays after your divorce if both parents are willing to compromise. The children need both parents and their families to be able to enjoy any holiday. How did you spend your time before the divorce with regards to the different set of families? Was there a special day that Christmas was celebrated with the father’s family, one set up for the mother’s family and one at home with just the immediate family? If so, then you both already know the basics on compromising for the holidays.

If you both still live in the same city or town you can easily decide that Christmas Day, will be spent with one parent this year and the following day after Christmas to be spent with the other. Then you can also find a way for the children to be close to both sets of grandparents to share in this joyous time. The same goes for major holidays all year through. It may even be possible to split up the day. The children can spend one half of the day with one parent and the last half and over night with the other.

If you both live too far away to make these types of arraignments then it might be best to try to work it out where one year, one parent with have Thanksgiving and the other Christmas. However, according to the age of the children and school scheduling around the Christmas holidays, you may be able to be split this time as equally as possible.

The main idea is to compromise and allow the children to enjoy both sets of families during all the holidays. This will give them a stronger bond and the love that they need to be the best they can be.

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Biggest Mistakes Divorcing Couples Make When Dealing With Children

Posted by admin on 27th April 2006

All couples going through divorce make mistakes when they are dealing with their children but if you know what the biggest mistakes are you may be lucky enough to not make any.

The following mistakes rank as the biggest mistakes divorcing couple make when dealing with children.

1. Bashing the Other Parent
This is the major mistake that all parents seem to fall into when they are going a divorce. You both will have angry feelings and need a way to express yourself. But, you should never talk bad about your husband or wife in front of your children or even if they could be close enough to hear. Remember your children love both of you equally. They have looked up to you as parents, caregivers and always knew you both would be there to take care of them.

2. Arguing in front of the Children
No matter what the reason or how upset you are, you should never argue with your soon to be ex-spouse in front of the children. Children are already upset because they are losing one of their parents. Having the stress of their parents constantly arguing when they see one another will cause the children to feel stress every time they know that their parents are going to see one another.

3.   Punishing the Children for the ex-spouses failures
This may sound like something you think you will never do, but it does happen. “Your father/mother did not pay their child support. So, you can not see them this weekend”. This is not only punishing your ex-spouse but you are in fact punishing your children.

3. Not listening to their children’s feelings about the divorce
Children have feelings just like you and they are hurting just as much as you when it comes to the divorce. They may not hurt in the same way, but they feel confused, blame themselves and are losing a parent. They need to talk about how they feel. If you do not believe you are the best person at this time to talk with them because of your own hurt feelings, then you should consider a counselor.

4. Rushing into a new relationship too soon
You may be lonely and seek companionship. But, you also need time to heal and so do your children. When you bring a new person into their lives they may feel that they have to love this person as much as they love the other parent. You need at least 2 to 3 years before you are ready emotionally to make a new commitment and your children should be allowed this time as well. They should be able to get to know this new person without any pressure. Let them decide how they feel and give them the time they need to accept someone new in their lives.

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