Here is a quick reference guide of DOíS and DONíTíS for Helping Your
Children Through Your Divorce:
Do encourage your children to talk openly about their feelings
Do emphasize that the divorce was not their fault
Do understand that your childrenís behavior may reflect feelings of anger,
fear, confusion, sadness and loss. Validate their feelings, allow them to be
angry with you
Do be honest with your children about the finality of divorce according to
what is age appropriate
Do keep your children informed about family-life changes such as moving,
visitation, activities, schedules, etc.
Do remain consistent with established rules and expectations even if they
are not the same in the other parentís household.
Do make the effort to spend quality time with each child every day.
Do commit to protecting your children from being involved in parental
conflict. Agree on co-parenting strategies that benefit the children
Do take all necessary steps to ensure a safe and stable home environment
Do seek professional help if your children are experiencing unresolved
problems in response to your divorce
Donít blame the other parent such that children take sides
Donít speak negatively about the other parent in front of your children
Donít assign children the role of ďmessage carrierĒ to the other parent
Donít allow your children to bear the burdens of your emotional and or
Donít use your child as a confidant -- you must remain the parent and the
Donít allow your feelings to stand in the way of your childrenís desire to
have a relationship with the other parent or step-parent.
Donít forget to reassure the children that the parents will continue to love
them even though Mom and Dad are not getting along
Donít promise your children more than you can deliver; be realistic about
your plans, including new living arrangements, time spent with children as
they try to find a new sense of security in their lives