Information for Preteens:
What Kids Need During Divorce
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, or both, 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 & 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 – I need to express those feelings.
- I need to be able to like both of my parents and be certain this is OK since they are both part of me.
- 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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Madison, middle school student writer
Reviewed by: Adolescent Interest Group
Last reviewed: August 2013