Question: Any tips for a family recently divorced/divorcing - any good books or resources to help
find positive ways to keep communication open for everyone?
Answer: From Kids health
These suggestions can make the process less painful for kids, teens, and families. Parents will
need to interpret them in their own ways; honesty, sensitivity, self-control, and time itself will
help the healing process. Be patient — not everyone's timetable is the same.
Encourage kids to openly discuss their feelings — positive or negative — about what's
It's important for divorcing — and already divorced — parents to sit down with their kids and
encourage them to say what they're thinking and feeling. But you'll need to keep this separate
from your own feelings. Most often, children experience a sense of loss of family and may blame
you or the other parent — or both — for what is going on in their lives. So, you'll really need to
be prepared to answer questions your kids might raise or to address their concerns.
Make talking about the divorce and how it's affecting your kids an ongoing process. As kids get
older and become more mature, they might have questions or concerns that they hadn't thought
of earlier. Even if it seems like you've gone over the same topics before, keep the dialogue open.
If possible, sit down with the other parent and plan how you're going to talk to your child or
children about what is going on.
Keep adult conflict and arguments away from the kids.
This is one of the hardest things to do. But it's important never to say bad things about your ex in
front of your kids, or within earshot. You'd be surprised at how good kids can be to picking up
on these things. Research shows that the single biggest factor in long-term adjustment for kids of
divorce is the level of parental conflict they are exposed to. It puts kids in really difficult
positions if they want to or have to take sides, or listen to negative things said about one of their
Try not to use kids as messengers or go-betweens, especially when you're feuding.
Even though it is tempting, don';t use your kids as messengers. There are plenty of other ways to
communicate with your ex-partner. Also, resist questioning your child about what is happening
in the other household — kids resent it when they feel that they're being asked to "spy" on the
other parent. Wherever possible, communicate directly with the other parent about relevant
matters, such as scheduling, visitation, health issues, or school problems.'
Expect resistance and difficulties as kids adjust to a new mate or the mate's kids.
New relationships, blended families, and remarriages are among the most difficult aspects of the
divorce process. A new, blended family can add more stress for a while, and can cause another
period of adjustment. Keeping lines of communication open, allowing one-on- one time for
parents and kids, and watching for signs of stress can help prevent problems developing.
Figure out how to reduce stress in your life to help your family.
Support from friends, relatives, church and religious groups, and organizations such as Parents
Without Partners can help parents and their kids adjust to separation and divorce. Kids can meet
others who've developed successful relationships with separated parents and can confide in each
other. Getting support can help parents find solutions to all kinds of practical and emotional challenges.