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Methods that can help kids cope with their parents' divorce

It is often said that the real victims in a divorce are the children. A divorce can pull the support structure right out from under a vulnerable child. But there are methods Minnesota parents can use to help children deal with divorce.

A divorced parent should always tell their child the truth. This includes being honest about their own feelings regarding the divorce. It's quite possible a child will have strong feelings about their parent's separation and hearing similar feelings from at least one of their parents will make them realize that what they are feeling is OK. It is also important to be honest with a child and tell them if the divorce has caused changes to the family's financial situation.A parent should refrain from bad-mouthing their ex-spouse in front of the child. Vilifying the other parent can confuse a child because he or she knows they are an integral part of each parent's life. Bad-mouthing by a parent can cause a child to believe those feelings are really being directed at the child.

Divorce can make a parent emotionally needy, but at no time should a parent talk to their children about adult topics. Doing this means the child is providing emotional support to the parent when the situation should be the other way around. If a child, even an older child, is giving support to the parent, then the parent will not be able to provide support to the child, which is a primary parental responsibility.

Two other tips parents can use to help their kids are to keep up a routine and to provide their child with extra love. By establishing a routine, parents may be able to minimize a child's emotional rollercoaster that can follow a divorce. And showering a child with more love can help them overcome feelings of insecurity.

Source: www.huffingtonpost.com, "5 ways to help your kids thrive after a divorce", May 28, 2015

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