What A Kid Needs During Divorce
There is no "easy" solutions for helping children through the breakup of a divorce. It is a traumatic transition for everyone in the family and only time, showing love for a child and probably some counseling can help make this change better for a young person.
Below is an article written by a middle school student writer for the PAMF Preteen site sharing what kids need most in a divorce.
Author: T. Madison, middle school student writer
Don't lose yourself just because you are stressed.
To help your whole family, here is a list to remind everyone what a kid needs during divorce.
You can print it and hang it on your refrigerator - like in one of your homes.
- I need to love whom I choose without guilt, pressure or rejection.
- I need to love many people (relatives, family friends, etc.) without guilt or being made to feel disloyal; the more love I give, the more I have to give - and the more love I receive.
- I need to have a regular daily and weekly routine, one that is not disrupted or uncertain because of parental arguments.
- I need to spend time with both of my parents, regardless of grown-up wants and wishes regarding convenience, money or their feelings. I own the time with both my parents and should be allowed to do the things I want, when I am with either parent.
- I may be angry, sad and fearful and need to express those feelings.
- I need to be able to like both of my parents since they are both part of me and to be certain this is OK.
- I need to not have to blame or choose one parent over the other.
- I need to not have to make adult decisions.
- I need to remain a child and not replace a parent in my duties or to be an adult companion, friend or comforter to my parents.
- I need never to have to choose with whom I live - this is a decision for adults. Having to make such a choice will always hurt someone else and therefore myself. I may feel this way even when I am a teenager and people wish I was able to make the decision. I can never choose between my parents.
- I need parents to listen when I have an opinion or ask for something. Just because what I want may not be what a parent wants, doesn't mean I am being influenced by the other parent.
- I need parents to tell me things after they have been decided. It's hard for me to hear different things from different parents. For example, if one parent says I will go to one school, but I know the decision has not been made, I get confused and don't know what to expect.
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This list is not meant to be exhaustive but simply a few of the many resources available for parents that our medical staff have recommended in the past
Allison, Susan ( 2001). Conscious Divorce: Ending a Marriage with Integrity: A Practical and Spiritual Guide for Moving On. New York, NY, Three Rivers Press.
Hannibal, Mary Ellen (2002). Good Parenting Through Your Divorce: How to Recognize, Encourage, and Respond to your Child's Feelings and Help Them Get Through Your Divorce. New York, NY, Marlowe and Company.
Ricci, Isolina (1997). Mom's House, Dad's House: Making Two Homes for Your Child. A Complete Guide for Parents who are Separated, Divorced, or Remarried. New York, NY, Simon & Schuster.
Saposnek, Donald (1998). Mediating Child Custody Disputes: A Strategic Approach. San Francisco, CA, Jossey-Bass Publishers.
Vaughan, Diane (1986). Uncoupling: Turning Points in Intimate Relationships. New York, NY, Random House.