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Helping Children Adjust

Helping your children adjust to a divorce/separation

Children can adjust to a variety of living patterns, including living in two homes. How well children adjust depends on whether parents can minimize their conflicts, stop arguing and focus on their children’s needs. When parents can’t agree, tell the children there will be separate rules in each home. It may be frustrating, but it’s important to remember that your children need you to be a strong, positive influence in their lives.

A few suggestions to ensure a healthier adjustment for your child include:

  • ˆFocus on my children’s healthy development
  • Accept my children’s feelings about the divorce, even if they differ from mine
  • Do not pass messages to my ex-partner through my children
  • Do not make negative comments about my ex-partner in front of my children
  • Try to arrange my life so my children will each continue to attend the same school and to play with the same friends, if possible

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Fact sheet developed by Emily M. Douglas, UNH Extension Family Education & Policy Specialist

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