- Reassure them that the separation is not their fault, that they will be cared for and loved.
- Communicate openly, encouraging kids to express their needs and concerns.
- Answer questions honestly and briefly, but without adding adult information.
- Avoid sharing details about the divorce such as what caused it, or terms of settlement.
- Do not treat your child like an adult. Share personal problems with a friend or therapist.
- Provide consistent discipline, maintaining rules, daily routines and schedules.
- If the child complains of stricter rules at your house, explain that they need to follow different rules at each home without being critical of the other household.
- Avoid trying to win the kids with spoiling. Instill patterns to promote long term health.
Respect for the Other Parent
- If the child criticizes the other parent do not take sides, but encourage the child to express those concerns clearly and fully with the other parent.
- Don’t criticize the other parent or their family or friends.
- Don’t argue with the other parent when a child can hear you.
- Don’t ask a child to give messages to, or keep secrets from, the other parent.
- Support your child in maintaining contact with friends and family on both sides.
- Make regular contact by telephone or digitally when you are apart for an extended time.
- Don’t interrupt their time with the other parent by calling too often or planning activities during their time together.
- Allow children to take favorite items back and forth between homes.
- Encourage children to love both of you and see each of you as much as possible.
- Keep in mind that your children have two homes, not just one.