Divorce can be a difficult time for a family. Not only are the parents learning new ways of relating to each other, but they are finding new ways to parent their children. When parents divorce, the effects of divorce on children can vary. Some children react to divorce in a natural and understanding way, while other children may struggle with adjusting to the new normal.
No matter how the divorce may impact a family, divorced parents must fulfill their responsibilities to their children. Children should have rights in divorced families. If you can give your children these freedoms, you will have gone a long way toward filling your responsibilities as a parent.
Every child whose parents divorce has:
- The right to love and be loved by both parents without feeling guilt or disapproval;
- The right to be protected from parents’ anger with each other;
- The right to be kept out of the middle of conflict, including the right not to have to choose sides, carry messages, or hear complaints about the other parent;
- The right not to have to choose one parent over the other;
- The right not to have to be responsible for the burden of either of their parents’ emotional problems;
- The right to know well in advance about important changes that will affect their life; for example, when one parent is going to move or get married;
- The right to reasonable financial support during childhood and through the college years;
- The right to have feelings, to express feelings, and to have both parents listen to how they feel;
- The right to have a life that is as close as possible to what it would have been if parents stayed together;
- The right to be a kid.
Divorce affects everyone in the family, but can be especially difficult for the children. We don’t always know what children are experiencing because they do not want to add to the problem that already exists and often refrain from sharing their feelings. Frequently, they feel responsible as though they caused the divorce. It’s important to reassure them that you both love them, and they are not at fault. Following the above simple tips can make a huge difference in a child’s life during this very difficult and tumultuous time.
At The Hellenic Therapy Center (567 Park Ave.,Scotch Plains), we work with the entire family as they are experiencing divorce or separation. We work with parents, children, grandparents and caretakers of the family. At this time, we are currently offering Zoom, FaceTime or phone sessions. Call us at 908-322-0112 or visit us on Facebook, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.