/ SPECIAL FOR THE AJT/
Going through a divorce is very difficult for everyone involved. Children of two parents who are going their separate ways are often left with many questions and concerns. Parents must remember to communicate with their children throughout the divorce process to best eliminate as much stress and fear as possible.
Elisheva Funk, an LCSW in JF&CS’ Child & Adolecent – Tools for Families division, specializes in counseling children of divorce. She lists several priority points that need to be discussed with kids and their parents at the beginning of the process:
- The divorce is not your fault.
- Some things are going to change; be honest about those changes.
- Some things will stay the same; list those out (school, afterschool activities, friends, having two parents who love you, etc.).
- Transitions take a while to get used to. Explain how it might seem unsettling at first, but it will get better.
- Parents might put you in the middle of their arguments by accident. Please let someone know if that is happening.
- Holidays and family events might be different. Tell your children where they will be for special times in advance.
- Both parents will still be involved in your lives. No one is divorcing you.
- Your opinions and feelings about the details of the divorce are important, but you do not have to choose one parent over the other.
- Support systems are important. Remind the children of whom they can go to for comfort, aside from parents.
- Their lives are important. Even through the divorce, you still have time to hear what is going on with them.
While every family and every divorce is different, an open line of communication will make the process easier for everyone. For more information about Divorce Support Services, call (770) 677-9300, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.