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Post Divorce Parenting: Helping Your Child Succeed

Life for a child of divorce can feel like a war zone. They often feel torn between two people who have completely different opinions and different life styles. The rules can vary from household to household which leaves the child with a sense of confusion and anger. Here are some simple ways to help your child succeed after the divorce.

The Child Should Never Be the Pawn in a Game Between You and Your Ex-Spouse. 

Emotions run high when a couple divorces.  Tempers flare and it’s very tempting to lash out with anything against one another.  However, the child should never get caught in that tug of war.  Airing your differences about your ex in front of the child will only confuse and alienate your child.  This is never a win-win situation.  If your child is truly in danger from the other parent, there are legal remedies that can and should be taken to protect him or her.

Validate Your Child’s Feelings by Listening

In spite of your feelings about your ex, your child may want to talk about their time or visits with their parent.  Allow them to be open and honest about their feelings, including any activities that took place while they spent time with your ex.  If you have concerns, this is the only way to truly know how safe your child is – listen.

Communication Means Everything

After the dust settles, post divorce children often feel responsible for the parents separation.  Communicating with your ex may not be possible immediately and depending on your circumstances, it may not be practical.  However, talking with your child is critical.  Explaining to your child that the divorce was not his or her fault can prevent a child from acting out immediately or down the road.

Divorce is never easy for anyone.  Post divorce parenting is often even more of a challenge.  Make sure your child is never placed between the two parents;  protect his or her feelings and continue to express your love and concern for how they may be feeling affected.  If the other parent refuses to play by the rules, seek legal options rather than involving your child in any type of retaliation.  Remember that although you may not feel the say way, your child still loves their other parent in spite of any wrong doing.

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