Tips for Children Coping with Divorce

1. Understand that it is not your fault. Your parent’s arguments and divorce are not your fault and are not under your control.

2. You don’t need to solve your parents problems. Parents shouldn’t ask you to take sides, relay messages or keep secrets. If they do, tell them that you would prefer to stay out of the situation.

3. Leave the room when your parents argue.

4. Understand that going through a divorce is hard on everyone. Many families have parents who divorce, and the confusing, sad, or scary feelings you may be experiencing are normal and will eventually go away.

5. Try to express your feelings. Talk to someone you can trust.

6. Ask your parents for the things you may need, such as time together; to be kept out of the middle of the divorce; to be trusted if you don’t want to talk at the moment; to be allowed to love the other parent; to be allowed to express all kinds of feelings, even if it may hurt your parents.

7. Remember, every person gets angry at times, and you are not terrible for having angry thoughts and feelings even toward your parents.

8. Having angry “thoughts” toward someone will not cause that person harm.

9. Remember, the best thing you can do for yourself is act your age. Don’t go back to being a baby, and don’t try to be too grown-up.

10. Keep in mind that although your parents are no longer husband and wife, they will always be your mom and dad.