Divorce: Helping Children Cope
If you are going through a divorce, you're probably trying to keep your child's life as constant as possible with friends, school, and teams. You're also helping him talk about his worries, sadness, and other feelings. But are you addressing the issue that will have the greatest impact on his long-term emotional health, namely his ongoing relationship with your ex?
- First: Protect the visiting schedule. Both parents must work to coordinate these visits and make them pleasant. Make sure your child feels free to tell you he had a good time during the visit. Also encourage him to communicate by telephone.
- Second: Try to protect your child's positive feelings about your ex. And don't subject him to your bad memories.
- Third: Don't argue with your ex about visiting, child support, or custody in your child’s presence. If you have disagreements in these areas, you need to set up a meeting outside the home.
- Finally: Do not ask your child to take sides. Even though you're unhappy with each other, your child needs to love you both.
If you have any questions about your child's reaction to divorce, consult your healthcare provider.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. FAAP
Last Review: 6/1/2008
Last Revised: 6/1/2000
Copyright 1994-2008 Barton Schmitt, M.D. Parent Advice Messages.