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Listen up, divorced parents!

Several days ago, we wrote about how to make your co-parenting relationship less stressful. However, it is also important to educate yourself on how to make life less stressful for your child in the wake of divorce. No matter how your child custody arrangements are constructed, if you have chosen to remain in your child’s life, there are a few things that you may benefit from considering if you want to make your child’s life even healthier and happier than it is now.

First, please understand that children need a certain degree of consistency in order to thrive. Of course, each child is different and therefore it is important to use your judgment when determining just how consistent your particular child’s life needs to be in order to be healthy. But in almost every case, children benefit dramatically from understanding what they can expect, from taking comfort in consistent approaches and from keeping a certain balance no matter which parent’s household they are present in.

Second, it is not only normal but healthy for children to feel allegiance towards both of their parents. Not every child will feel this way at all times. But if your child remains generally loyal to both you and your former spouse, please neither take this fact personally nor make your child feel guilty about his or her feelings. Children are biologically wired to count on their parents for protection and affection. The fact that your child may still feel loyal to his or her other parent honestly may have more to do with biology than anything else. Making your child feel bad about his or her feelings towards your former spouse could result in otherwise preventable emotional damage. 

Source: The Huffington Post, “11 Things All Divorced Parents Need To Hear,” Brittany Wong, May 21, 2014

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