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Pay attention to your child during a divorce

Divorce is difficult for adults, but children who have to live through their parents divorcing are placed in a precarious position. These children love both parents and likely can't stand the thought of having to choose between parents. The adults in these situations need to remember that this is a hard time for the kids.

There are several things that you can do to help your children when you are divorcing. One is to remember that they have certain rights that you should make sure remain in place. While you might find that you need to add to this list based on your child's needs, here are some to get you started:

Right to be a child

Your children shouldn't be treated as miniature adults. Even though you are spending a lot of time with them, don't fall into the habit of exposing them to the problems and struggles of the divorce. You also shouldn't allow children to be used as messengers between parents.

Right to see both parents

Children don't want to have to pick one parent over the other. Even if you don't want to see your ex, you should still make sure that your children get to build a relationship with both parents. There are some exceptions to this, such as cases of abuse.

Right to spend time with other family members

Most children have good relationships with extended family members, such as grandparents and cousins. They should be able to nurture these even though you are divorcing your ex. Both parents can work together to nurture these relationships.

Right to have friends

As children grow, they will forge friendships. Just because you are divorcing doesn't mean that they can't continue to stay connected to these friends. Even if you end up moving, you should try your best to foster their close friendships. Using online methods like video chats might make this easier.

Right to have and express feelings

Try to help your children work through their feelings. Some children might have trouble thinking of what to say to relay what they are thinking and feeling. Don't get irritated or upset with the kids when they need to express those thoughts. Try to help them find productive and appropriate ways to do this. A divorce is a challenging change for them.

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