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Tips to help children come to terms with new custody arrangements

Missouri parents who are going through a divorce often find it difficult to come to an agreement on child custody and visitation orders. One parent thinks a particular plan is fair, while the other parent doesn't. In fact, that kind of conflict is normal, even if emotions tend to run high. But parents often have to remind themselves that the process of separation is also a particularly confusing time for the children. That means some careful thought and consideration may be required to ensure a sense of security and well-being for the kids.

Divorcing parents in the St. Charles area may want to make special efforts to let their kids know they have in no any way caused of the separation. Kids have a tendency to feel at fault for a divorce, even if that feeling is nowhere near the truth.

In addition, it can be challenging sometimes to get children to speak freely about their emotions. But if children are encouraged to talk about how they feel, even if they feel angry or frustrated, they can start to come to terms with the divorce more quickly than if they had kept all their emotions bottled up.

Another way to help children come to terms with a new custody arrangement is to establish routines. Predictability in both households can foster a sense of security for the children as well as the parents. Of course, the routine will likely change as the children get older, but keeping the lines of communication open between everyone involved can help make transitions smoother.

Ideally, all visitation and custody arrangements should be clearly established before discussing them with the children. Parents who do their best to agree on such arrangements prior to making custodial or non-custodial decisions may lessen the confusion for their kids.

Finally, as with all child custody orders, the primary goal is to secure the best possible outcome for the children. And while the process of divorce is always a trying time, it can still be managed in such a way as to ensure that the children know they are deeply loved by both of their parents.

Source: montgomerynews.com, "COPING: Coping with divorce a struggle for children," Dr. Caryn Richfield, March 25, 2012

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