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Melissa A. Featherston

Child custody and divorce can be hard on kids

Children are often caught in between two parents during a divorce. Sometimes, child custody battles make children feel like they are the reason for a divorce. Therefore it is important to constantly remind them that they are not the cause of the divorce.

Many times, parents are focused on a lot of different task during a divorce. They are constantly gathering documents, looking over financial statements and working with their attorneys to propose new agreements to finalize the divorce. This causes some people to regularly take time to tell their children that they are still loved by both parents and they are not the cause of the divorce.

Parents might believe their young children don't know what's going on, so they simply don't address the divorce, or sugar coat the divorce as, the child's parents will just be living separately now. Brain science shows that children get impressions from their parents' actions and children are better than we think at picking up meanings of body language and the true context of a conversation.

Children also believe they are at the center of their universe at younger ages, even as young as infancy, leading them to believe that they are the ones that contribute to their parent's divorce. These feelings can last for that person's lifetime. Therefore, it is important for parents to constantly reiterate the message that the divorce is not their children's fault.

During child custody disputes, parents might be especially vocal when talking about their children. Children might assume this means they are the cause of the divorce. It is important to always address the children in divorce with the most sensitivity possible.

Source: The Huffington Post, "The Kids' Will Be Just Fine And Other Divorce Myths," Claire N. Barnes, MA, Feb. 3, 2012

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