Top things Maryland parents should say to their kids in a divorce

It is never easy to go through the end of a relationship, whether one is living in Maryland or elsewhere. This can be particularly true if children are involved. Parents who want to minimize the negative fallout from the dissolution of their marriage may choose to participate in mediation or collaborative divorce. Open communication plays a large part in the success of either. The following are some common topics that could be addressed during the process.

You are not to blame. It doesn’t matter how old the child is when divorce occurs — he or she will want to know why it is happening. It is important to offer regular validation that they do not share any responsibility for what’s taking place.

Your feelings are valid, whatever they are. It is not unusual for emotions to vary widely from day to day, or even minute to minute, during a divorce. Children should be made to understand that there is no single acceptable way to feel.

It is important for the kids to know that both parents love them. Children don’t always understand that divorce is about dissolving a marriage and not about taking the love of a parent away. They may need reassurance that this is not the case.

You cannot “fix” the situation. Children may think they can mend things and thereby cancel the need for a divorce. Gently let them know this is not true.

Life continues. Although divorce can be a time of personal upheaval, it can ultimately be a positive experience if handled correctly. Keeping the lines of communication open — as is done in mediation or collaborative divorce — can offer Maryland parents a way to keep their children’s needs at the top of the priority list during what is assuredly a difficult time for everyone involved.

Source: Huffington Post, “10 Things All Divorcing Parents Should Say To Their Kids“, Sophie Rosen, April 2, 2014

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