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Help your children work through their fears of divorce

There are many things that your child might think when you announce your divorce. The truth is that even when the children recognize that their parents' relationship wasn't the best, they usually wish that you wouldn't divorce.

Helping a child to work through their fears of having divorced parents can help them to thrive despite the major life change. Instead of letting your child have these thoughts without addressing them, you can take a proactive stance.

First, let your children know that they aren't the cause of the divorce. The choice to end a marriage is something that only the adults can make. Don't let your children think that their actions were the reason you and their other parent split up.

Second, reassure the children that choosing one parent over the other isn't necessary. Some children feel as though they need to cling to one parent and shun the other. This isn't at all what needs to happen, so take the time to address this thought now.

Third, remind your children that they aren't going to have to bid adieu to one family. They will still be able to see grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles and other family members who are important to them.

Finally, tell your children that you and the other parent don't hate each other. Even if you can't stand one another, it is important for the children to know that conflict isn't going to force them to have to take sides. In fact, your children shouldn't ever be forced to take a place in the middle of a parental argument.

Setting the standards and framework for the child custody now can help to keep things civil in the future. This sets a good example for your children.

Source: Our Family Wizard, "How To Debunk Your Child's Post-Divorce Fears," accessed Dec. 22, 2017

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