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4 ways to make divorce easier on children

Divorce is never easy, and sometimes it's the children involved who suffer the most. While both parents are caught up in the logistics of divorce, it can mean that children don't receive all the attention and reassurance they need. Fortunately, there are many ways to make your child feel cared for and important during a divorce.

Let's say you have a son: To this child, a divorce may seem like the end of the only world he's ever known. Reassurance can help your child understand that you're there for him, no matter what happens. Here are four other ways to help him get through the divorce easier.

1. Encourage communication

Even if you and your spouse no longer get along, it's important that you both communicate with your child. If your spouse can't pick up your child like planned, he or she should still call and talk to your child to explain the situation. Leaving your child out of the conversation of divorce can make it harder for him to understand what's going on, so making an effort to communicate as you always have can put some anxiety at ease.

2. Be cordial

You may no longer get along with your spouse, but that doesn't mean you can't act in a civil manner. You should not talk badly about your spouse in front of your child. Your child may feel that there is something wrong with him, since he is also the child of the other parent. It can also cause alienation, where the child begins to believe that either you or the other parent is bad or dangerous.

3. Don't argue in front of your child

Children are often sensitive to the situations around them. If they see that you and your spouse are okay with arguing and fighting in from of them, then that can not only feel scary but also teaches them that it's okay to act in that way. You should make an effort to reduce arguments to when your child isn't around or to deescalate the situation whenever possible. Don't cut off your partner when he or she speaks, since this can lead to more aggression.

4. Be transparent

Transparency is important when your child is old enough to understand the situation. Explain that you're going through a divorce but that it doesn't mean that either parent doesn't love your child anymore. Explain that sometimes adults don't want to live together anymore, and try to put a positive spin on the divorce. In reality, there will be less tension in the home, and it will become a better environment for your child.

If you can work together to make the divorce less contentious, your child will benefit. Your attorney can help you with child custody and visitation arrangements when you're ready to discuss those terms.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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