Children do face difficulties when families separate. Fortunately, there are efforts parents can make to lower these hurdles. We have to shift our personal strength into overdrive; first meet our basic needs, then set ourselves aside and meet the needs of our children. Easier said than done, but isn't that what we as parents are supposed to do?
To keep myself in check, I compiled a short list of the most important advice for parents in this predicament and posted it on my refrigerator. I call them the Six Golden Rules to Help Children Through Divorce. These rules can be simple and obvious, but difficult to abide by, and easily forgotten in our strife.
1. With your spouse, tell your children before change takes place.
2. Reassure children often that the divorce is not their fault.
3. Let them know that you will still be their parents, even though the marriage has ended.
4. Encourage them to ask questions.
5. Do not criticize your ex-spouse. (That is criticizing them!)
6. Explain to them what unconditional love is!