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Children and divorce: the importance of discussing feelings

In our last post we discussed the important part that communication plays in summer activity planning after divorce. While communication might not have worked between two spouses, leading to a breakup, it still certainly plays an important role in your relationship with your child.

Many parents drag out the decision to divorce because they are afraid of the effects it will have on their kids. But when someone in Florida finally decides to split, they may have come to the realization that the benefits of divorce outweigh the negatives.

With that said, although divorce may be a path to a better life for you, it may not seem that way to your children, at least at first. Once again, communication is vital. Kids will have a lot of different feelings throughout the process, and it’s important to understand that there is no right or wrong way to feel.

One feeling that may creep up for children is guilt. It’s not uncommon for a child to think they somehow caused the divorce. Whether the child is 10 or 40, you may still have to remind them that the divorce was in no way their fault. In the same breath, because the child did not cause the breakup, it’s obviously also not their job to fix it. Parents should keep in mind that what goes on between spouses is best kept between the parents.

It’s hard to keep children out of the turmoil of divorce, but with encouragement and open discussion, parents can teach their children that the divorce does not define them. Even if their parents are no longer married, they are still the same individual with the same goals, hopes and dreams.

Source: The Huffington Post, “10 Things All Divorcing Parents Should Say To Their Kids,” Sophie Rosen, April 2, 2014

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