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Helping children navigate the challenges of divorce

When Texas parents are in the midst of a divorce, it can be easy to forget the impact that the issue has on their children. Divorce represents a fundamental shift in the structure of a family, and while adults are often able to handle those changes, kids can have far more difficulty accepting that their lives are no longer going to be the same. There are a number of things that parents can do to ensure that their children are able to move through this period of transition and into the next phase of their lives.

One aspect of parenting during a divorce that cannot be overstated is the importance of good communication. While children do not need to know the details of their parents' split, it is important to keep them up to date on any changes that are on the way. Kids will want to know where and with whom they are going to live, and when and for how long they are going to be able to spend time with the other parent.

Children should be assured that they are not the cause of the decision to divorce, and that they are loved by both parents. Many times parents assume that their children already know these things, but repeating them serves to reassure kids that they are valued and loved. This gives them a measure of emotional stability in a time when a wide range of changes are taking place.

Another gift that Texas parents can give their children is to keep them out of any contention that exists between mom and dad. Being placed in the middle not only puts a great deal of stress on a child, but can also lead to resentment toward both parents that can last into adulthood. Divorce is an experience between adults, and children should never be used as pawns within that process. Parents who are able to place the needs of their children above their own are able to help guide their children through this challenging time with love and care, which is in the best interests of all involved.

Source: Huffington Post, Helping Your Children Get Through the Crisis of Divorce, Michael S. Broder, Ph.D., Oct. 2, 2013

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