Children of divorce. Kids' guide to divorce

Do you know children of divorce? Are your parents divorced? Chances are that you can answer yes to one or both of those questions. And you are not alone!

Jonny Craig's song:

Jonny Craig wrote a song with the Title "Children of Divorce":

What is divorce?

A divorce happens after a husband and wife decide they can't live together anymore and no longer want to be married.

It's really important for kids to know that just because parents divorce each other, they're not divorcing their kids.

Some kids think that if their parents are divorcing, it means their moms and dads will want to leave them, too.

But, the parent who lives somewhere else is still that kid's mom or dad. Forever! That will never change.

Kids can't cause divorce!

There are many reasons why people divorce. But, whatever the reasons are, one thing is for sure: Kids don't cause divorce.

Still, many children of divorce believe they are the reason their mom and dad got divorced. They think that if only they had behaved better, gotten better grades, or helped more around the house, the divorce wouldn't have happened.

But this isn't true. Divorce is between moms and dads only!

The fact that your parents decide not to stay married is not your fault.

Kids can't fix divorce!

Getting parents back together is not up to the kid either.

Acting like an angel at home and getting straight at school may make your mom and dad happy with you, but it doesn't mean they'll get back together.

The opposite is also true. Getting in trouble to make your mom and dad come together to talk about these problems is not going to make the divorce go away either.

Just be yourself and try to talk to your parents about any feelings you have.

But I feel like my whole world just fell apart!

If your family is going through a divorce or you're helping a friend through it, remember some important things about feelings.

  • It's normal to feel lots of different things, including anger, fear, and sadness.
  • With time, your life might be a bit different, but things will be better again.
  • There are ways you can deal with your feelings. If you are really mad, you can punch your pillow, kick some empty boxes, go hit a baseball, or run for as long and as fast as you can.
  • Telling someone how you feel can also help. Talking is much better than keeping your feelings to yourself or acting all grouchy and irritable.

If you have a friend whose parents are divorcing, try to be a good listener when your friend wants to talk. Divorce is never easy.

Life after divorce

When parents divorce, some children of divorce spend part of the time living with one parent and part of the time living with the other. Other kids live mostly with one parent and visit the other.

If this is the case for you, it may seem strange at first to be visiting your own parent, but it can feel good knowing you have two homes where someone loves you.

When to speak up

Sometimes problems come up when kids visit one parent and then go home to the other.

For example, one parent might ask a lot of questions about stuff the other parent is doing. Kids don't want to feel like they are in the middle. They wish that parents would just ask each other what they want to know.

If something like this happens to you, talk to your parents and tell them how it makes you feel.

The future

Wouldn't you like to know what will happen in the future?

For children of divorce, it may mean stepfamilies someday. Don't expect everything to go smoothly all the time.

Try to remember that lots of kids go through what you're going through, and usually everything and everyone turns out fine. In fact, as bad as things might seem right now, you just might be surprised at how good the future turns out to be!

Are you a Child Friendly Divorced Parent? Do the
Self Assessment

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