Introduction to Parenting Through Divorce
Key Points
  • Divorce is difficult for everyone, make sure you are committed to helping your children through the emotional trauma that divorce can cause.
  • Keeping up a regular routine is important in a child’s life. You may be doing things you did not have to before. You need to keep this understanding in the forefront of all decisions.
  • During and especially after a divorce, you may experience a very quiet or very strong-willed child. Remember, your child may need more attention during this time, it is your responsibility to make sure you are tending to your child’s needs as well as your own. If you need help, ask for it; divorce is a difficult time for everyone.

It is very important to remember throughout your divorce and/or separation that your child's well-being should be your number one priority. The best interests of your child should be kept at the forefront of all decision making. It is your job as a parent to pick up on the clues that your child gives you and to do what ever you can to ease the emotional trauma that is caused by this life-changing experience.

Be overly conscious of how you act in front of your child. It is likely that your child will copy and mimic the emotions or feelings you reveal to him or her. If you are angry, sad, or frustrated, he or she will be as well.

Do your best to keep the everyday routine to which your child is accustomed. The divorce and/or separation is enough of a change for any child to absorb, so the more interruptions you can avoid the easier it will be for your child to adapt to the new parenting arrangement and home environment.

Your child may need more attention now than ever, especially when contrasting between a strong-willed child and one that is very quiet and easy going. Also, the developmental stages of childhood have revealed very consistent traits, which means that personality, age, and environment are the three primary concerns you have as a divorcing and/or separating parent.

How your child adjusts to the divorce and/or separation is directly related to how you as the parent are adjusting. Nevertheless, the way the family operates can be quite different according to the age, gender, and number of children in the family. Many children will react differently depending on the amount of support they receive from the parents, friends, and relatives and especially how much tension there actually is in the family structure. The age at the onset of the divorce and/or separation can also be a factor when dealing with how the child will behave and ultimately be affected in the future.

Useful Online Tools

Suggested Reading
Creating a Successful Parenting Plan Creating a Successful Parenting Plan
This extraordinary book and computer disk offers separating or divorcing parents a sure-fire way to create a workable, practical parenting plan/agreement that is in the best interest of their children.

Author: Jayne A. Major, Ph.D.

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GOOD COMMUNICATION – For two divorced parents to successfully co-parent, peaceful, consistent, and purposeful communication is essential. The purpose of the communication is the well-being of the child. This begins by setting a business-like tone.
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