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How to talk to Children When Getting a Divorce - Ensure Your Child's Well-being after a divorce

Written by Sierra Alvis

 
To ensure your child's well-being both during and after your divorce, Dr. Amy Beth Taublieb, clinical psychologist and author of A-Z Handbook of Child and Adolescent Issues, helped us compile these parenting tips:

 
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A Kid Is Just a Kid
Remember your child's age. Communicate on his level, using words he'll understand. If he's old enough to understand the divorce, try not to turn him into your new best friend or confidant. Don't use him as a replacement partner. Don't involve him in parental arguments or struggles.

Q&A
Encourage your child's questions, but keep in mind that it's acceptable to say, "This is between your daddy and me" or "This is for the lawyers to figure out." In other words, you don't have to answer everything.

Self-Expression
Be prepared for kids to express their emotions in different ways. Young children might revert to infant behavior, such as bed-wetting or attachment to a blanket. Adolescents might act out by shoplifting or skipping classes. Others might try to become the perfect child by taking on extra responsibilities at home or school.

Be sensitive to your child's needs, but set limits. Don't let her run the house or play up to your feelings of guilt. Respect her privacy, but keeps tabs on major changes in behavior. Try to stick to normal rules and routines.

Outside Help
Give your child permission to see professional help if necessary; he may very well need someone to talk to who is not as closely involved as you are.
Photographer: Dana Fry

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