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Helping children cope after divorce

Divorce is typically difficult for every member of the family, especially children. Nevertheless, with the support of their parents, children are able to find happiness and stability after their parents have divorced in Arizona or elsewhere.

There are seven skills parents can teach their children to help them bounce back from divorce and other stressful events. Those skills are described by Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg as the 7 C's: competence, confidence, connection, character, contribution, coping and control. Along with the 7 C's, there are other messages that divorcing parents should consistently communicate to their children to help them heal.

For children who are accustomed to having both parents in their household, the divorce process inherently involves making a major change that is a significant departure from the way of life to which the children have become accustomed. To help children feel better equipped to handle major change, parents should work together to maintain routine and consistency. Creating a consistent routine allows children to feel as if they have some degree of control over their lives. Children may be inclined to feel as if they are to blame for the tension between their parents. Therefore, parents must consistently reassure their children that the divorce is never a child's fault and that the both parents will continue to love their children and keep them safe. For the non-custodial parent, bonding may be difficult. Parents should bridge the physical separation between non-custodial parent and child by implementing creative ways to stay connected.

Divorcing parents may wish to consult a family law attorney for more advice regarding working through the complexities that arise when dissolving a marriage. Working with an attorney might help keep the tension level low between the divorcing parties and help both parents come up with ideas that will best serve their children.

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