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Don't complain to your kids about your former spouse

Being a parent isn't always easy although many New Jersey parents say they wouldn't change it for the world. Like most parents, you probably have some good days and some bad, especially if a particular child is going through a challenging stage in life. Divorce can be a stressful time for parents and kids alike. If you recently told your children you're getting divorced, you may be concerned about the weeks and months ahead regarding what you might do to show them your support.  

Beyond what you should do to help your children through divorce, there are some things you should not do as well. In fact, you might say it takes a special kind of balancing act to address problematic issues head on; yet gently encourage your kids by letting them know you love them and are always there with a listening ear. If needed, because of emotional or legal issues that arise, you can access outside support to help your family move forward toward a happy future. 

Things to avoid 

Knowing what not to do is just as important as knowing what proactive steps to take to help your children adapt to a new lifestyle after divorce. The following list shows several types of behavior you'll want to keep at bay to keep things as positive as possible and encourage your children as they come to terms with major life changes: 

  • Don't complain to them about their other parent.  
  • Don't lean on them for emotional support. It's understandable that you need it, but best to seek it from someone other than your kids.  
  • Try not to let your children get caught in the middle of disagreements between you and your former spouse. This often causes children to feel confused about showing loyalty to both parents.  
  • It's also a good idea to avoid sharing too many intimate details with your children about your divorce.  

Things to do instead 

You can be a great source of encouragement and support to your kids so divorce doesn't cause long-lasting negative consequences in their lives. The following tips may help you make the best of your situation: 

  • Tell them you love them. 
  • Let them know they don't have to be afraid to share their thoughts and feelings with you.  
  • Try to let them witness your and their other parent doing your best to amicably communicate and cooperate for their sakes.  

There are family support groups, licensed counselors and others who can lend you a hand when you encounter a situation or problem that seems too difficult to resolve on your own.

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