Helping your kids through divorce

 By Dr. Stacey B. Stryer

Over the past year, several of my friends have separated.  I was hoping this wouldn’t happen, but when about ½ of all marriages end in divorce, I guess it’s inevitable that some will be my friends.  All of them have children around the same age as mine, and that has been one of the most difficult aspects for them – how it will affect their kids.

I have been very impressed with the way in which one of my friends has dealt with the situation.  While it is very difficult for him to be apart from his children, he has allowed them to remain in the house with his childrens’ mom (except one night a week).  Instead of their traveling to him, he travels to them.  Almost every school morning he goes to the house and helps the kids get ready for school.  If he has time before work, he sometimes brings them to school.  After work he goes straight to the house to help with dinner, homework, and bedtime rituals.  Once his children go to sleep, he leaves.  The weekends are slightly different – sometimes the time is split, sometimes he takes one of his children for the day, and so on. This definitely has its own difficulties.  The rules have changed with time and, I suspect, will continue to change.  Nevertheless, he and his childres’ mom have done everything possible to minimize changes in their childrens’ lives while they have been getting adjusted to the fact that their parents are no longer living together.  They live in the same house, attend the same school, don’t move around too much, and still see both parents regularly.  Neither parent has abandoned their responsibility toward their children, and both parents are involved in their childrens’ everyday lives, from carpooling to helping with homework to disciplining.  If you are separating from your spouse, it will be a difficult road.  Yet there are things you can do to minimize its effects on your children.  A couple of good websites to check out are http://www.helpguide.org/mental/children_divorce.htm and www.selfgrowth.com/articles/sophy2.html.  An additional website with resource for both parents and kids is http://www.kidsturncentral.com/topics/issues/divorce.htm.Stacy is a licensed practitioner of Pediatrics who has been engaged by Revolution Health.  No information in this blog is intended to diagnose or treat any condition.  The opinions expressed here are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of Revolution HealthSource:  www.revolutionhealth.com
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One Comment

  1. jane horton
    Posted January 8, 2008 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    I would also recommend the articles listed here… some of them were very helpful to me as a divorce parent
    http://www.divorcemag.com/articles/Children_and_Divorce/


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