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Robin Graine has been helping parents guide their children through divorce for over 20 years. She has earned the reputation as a practical but heart-centered mediator. Here are Robin’s 7 best tips to help your children cope with divorce.Tip #1: Kids just want to be kids.
Do all you can to create an environment where your children feel free to just be kids and to not feel that they are being dragged into your adult problems,
Tip #2: Kids want to feel unconditional love from their parents.
Tip #3: Kids want to feel that they are being raised by a team that includes both of their parents.
Do what you can to demonstrate this: let your children “overhear” you talking/texting with your ex about something that concerns them; let your kids know that you and your ex “were just talking about …”; keep your ex updated on your children’s school successes and problems so that the kids are clued in that their parents are keeping each other posted.
Tip #4: Kids hate it when their parents fight.
Don’t think that your kids are oblivious to your fights with your ex. They know. Always assume there are little ears listening and remember that your kids’ intuition is probably pretty strong when it comes to their parents.
Tip #5: Kids love it when they see their parents together.
Do you best to find times where you children can see you and your ex together and happy (such as sitting together at a sports event or recital, having conversations at drop-off and pick-up, and having a holiday meal together). It will mean the world to your kids.
Tip #6: Kids don’t like changes at the last minute.
Who does? If you can avoid last minute changes, this will make an already complex living situation easier. If you are a last-minute planner, now is a good time to get better at organizing your time and also being smart about leaving wiggle room for mishaps.
Tip #7: Kids don’t want to be stuck in the middle.
Help your children learn the essential skills of compassion, conflict resolution, and how to deal with difficult people (if that is your situation) by how you navigate your relationship and how you co-parent with your ex. Your children will be grown before you know it, but they will carry their childhood with them for the rest of their lives. Do your best and, if you feel lost, get some professional help. You only have one shot.
Listen to your heart. You probably know what is best. Do that.