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Doctor shares advice for kids of divorcing parents

Divorce is tough for everyone involved, but perhaps toughest of all on children. Divorcing parents often struggle to know how much to share with their kids and how much to keep private. It can also be hard for parents to make sure that their children understand that the divorce is not their fault; that the divorce is because of disagreements mom and dad have, rather than because the kids somehow failed to be good enough.

We recently read an article by a psychologist who specializes in advice for families, children and parents. Dr. Gail Gross offered in her recent column advice for kids; children of newly divorced parents and kids of parents who are going to divorce.

The first piece of advice from the doctor is perhaps the best: talk. Talk to your parents or a friend or a therapist or a counselor at school, but talk. "Get your thoughts and fears out into the open," the doctor writes.

Among the other pieces of advice offered by the psychologist are these:

  • Don't take a side. Don't decide to be on mom's side or dad's side, the doctor writes. And don't become the protector of one parent or the other. They're adults and they can work their differences out on their own.
  • Don't feel guilt. You are not in control of what your parents do and you are not to blame for their decisions.
  • Spend time with each parent alone. You love them both, so it is perfectly OK to spend one-on-one time with them separately.
  • Let go of the idea that you can reunite your parents. Just as you are not to blame for their decisions, you cannot fix their relationship.

Parents should pay at least as much attention to the doctor's list.

While divorce is tough for everyone, an experienced family law attorney can help you get through the process and protect your children and yourself at each step.

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