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Coping strategies for children with parents undergoing divorce

Ending a marriage poses challenges to every member of the family, not just the couple breaking up. For children across Alberta and the rest of the country, coping with the divorce of parents can be overwhelming and emotional. Here are a few things children can do to take care of themselves during this major life change.

Children whose parents are divorcing may find it helpful to engage a confidant to work through their feelings. A therapist or friend may be able to help sort out fears and needs. Children should tell their parents what they need to better adjust to the divorce but remember to keep these conversations constructive. Taking sides or becoming one parent's protector can lead to even more family tension.

Children should allow themselves time to grieve the loss of their original family. This is an important step in accepting the divorce. Children who do not grieve may harbour secret hopes of their parents reuniting, which can lead to more heartbreak in the long run.

Maintenance is a key concept for children with parents undergoing divorce. For example, a child can maintain important relationships by scheduling quality one-on-one time with each parent. Keeping the same routine and roles is important as well. A child should not have to take on a role as head of house in this new structure. Maintaining a healthy, familiar lifestyle can help a great deal with adjustment.

Less conflict and more empathy between children and parents can help lessen the impact of divorce on a child. One way to avoid major conflict that affects children is to contact an Alberta divorce attorney for any contentious matters. While challenges may be unavoidable, law-based conflict resolution can help things return to a new normal.

Source: huffingtonpost.com, "Tips To Help Children Cope With Divorce", Dr. Gail Gross, Accessed on July 8, 2017

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