Kids need co-parents to know…
Helpful advice on co-parenting after the divorce: from the perspective of the kids.
Kids Need Security
- Assure me that you love me, will protect me, and won’t leave me.
Kid Need both Parents
- I want both parents in my life. I count on both of you to raise me, teach me what is important, and help me when I have problems.
- Give me the freedom to love you both and enjoy the time that I spend with each of you.
Kids need you to be the adult.
- Confide in people your own age. We are not your substitute spouse or friend.
- Tell us we aren’t to blame for your problems. And that we can’t fix them either.
Kids Need to be Kids
- I need help to get stuff ready for going back and forth. Be patient.
- I need time to adjust to all the changes. Don’t rush me.
- Please listen to my questions and opinions without judging.
- Help me to talk about and learn how to deal with my feelings.
- Be patient when we are upset about the loss of our old life.
Keep kids out of the middle of your problems. We are just kids.
- Don’t expect me to take your side, it makes me feel that I am betraying my other parent.
- Don’t ask us to spy, pass messages, or listen to you criticize or complain about my other parent.
- Keep your conflicts and dislike of each other out of sight and earshot.
- Don’t argue in front of me or where I can hear you. When you fight, I think that I did something wrong and I feel guilty.
- Please say only nice things about my other parent, or don’t say anything at all.
Adapted from: Divorce from the Kids’ Point of View, Isolina Ricci, PhD., NCFR Report, December 2007.