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INquire and encourage your child to express their emotions about the divorce and changes in their life. 

Your child is very aware of the distress that the divorce/separation is causing you.  As a result, they may not want to burden you with things that are bothering them.   By asking questions and keeping the lines of communication open, you, as the parent, can help your child deal with the stress of divorce/separation and reduce anxiety.

Your child may have thoughts and experiences you would not ordinarily think about.  Topics of discussion may include:

~  Are changes needed in their daily routine?

~  Are their friends aware that his/her parents have separated?

~  Do they have support among their peers?

~ Are they able to focus on schoolwork and afterschool activities?

~ Ask about their experiences with transitioning between two homes.

~  Does the schedule work or should you explore different options?

~  Are they able to find time to study and work on school projects at both homes?

~  Are they completing assignments and projects on time?

~  Are they able to find time to relax and chill?

~  Are they sleeping ok-at both homes?

~  Are they able to see their friends and feel comfortable hanging-out at both homes?

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Real Life Experience

Creating a stronger bond

INquire and ask your child to share thoughts and feelings about the divorce and parenting plan.   

   Sometimes talking directly may not be the best way to communicate.  There are additional ways.  Consider using a journal to ask difficult questions..

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This mom used a journal to create a special bond with her daughter. Mom wrote a question in the book asking her daughter about the occurrence of events following the separation and left the journal on her daughter’s bed.  The daughter answered the question and posed questions to her mother before replacing the journal on her mother’s bed. 

For several months they passed the journal back and forth and learned more about each other.  Her daughter asked questions about the divorce and learned how difficult the experience was for her mother.   

The journal helped this parent and child communicate at a deeper level.  Sometimes, when discussing delicate topics, expressing feelings in writing is easier than speaking with someone. This concept worked beautifully for this mother and daughter.  

The routine eventually faded away only to reappear a few months later when the daughter wrote a question and left the journal on her mother’s bed.   Again they learned more about each other.

Using a journal helped this mother and daughter create a special relationship by sharing their thoughts and feelings about the transitions surrounding the divorce. Ultimately this idea helped with solidifying the bond between them.

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Take home message:

Your child may have thoughts and experiences you would not ordinarily think about.

By making efforts to communicate at a deeper level you, as the parent, can learn more about how your child is adjusting to the changes that have occurred.

Do over? or Re-do?          Re-do!

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