Single Parenting Tips

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How should I treat my child during and after my divorce?

Let Kids Be Kids

Try not to give your child more responsibility immediately after your divorce or lean on him for emotional support as you would a friend.

It´s also important that children not hear too much about the divorce through casual phone conversations or dialogues with friends.

One of the hardest parts about being a grown up is acting like one, especially during times of stress, or when you feel as though you've been wronged. Although there may be little positive comments you can say about your ex-spouse or partner, it's not the child's job to listen to you vent or complain about them. It's their job to be their ages and know any snarkey comments you throw out there, they are going to feel the weight of those toxic words double. Not only will they feel responsible for your happiness, but the other parent's as well. If they have questions, be honest, but not petty or derogatory. It serves no purpose, even if you feel the need to "protect" your child, calling the other parent name serves no purpose other than venom.

Remember, children should be allowed to be children, not sounding boards.

How can I help my kids´ get through a divorce?

Don't Buy Your Kids' Loyalty

Children need more time and love during the time of divorce; they don't need more toys or extravagant vacations that cause them to favor one parent over the other.

How do I deal with dating when I have kids?


When you start to date try not to introduce your kids into the relationship too early. You don't want them to get attached to someone and then have to explain why that person is not around anymore. Take it slow and be very cautious.

How should divorced parents set household rules for their children?

Keep the Same Rules

After a divorce, your children will be spending substantial time in two households. It is very important that the two parents follow the same disciplinary rules in each household. Children will be less confused if the rules are similar. Don't use less discipline in one house in order to make it "more fun" than the other.

How can I help my child cope with my divorce?

Be Honest About Reconciliation

It is very important not to give children any false hopes about their parents getting back together after a divorce. Nearly all children fantasize that their parents will reunite and that they will all live happily together again. To have this hope raised, and then dashed, can signigicantly disappoint a child.

Why is it important to keep scheduled visits with my child?

Keeping Scheduled Visits

It is very important to make every effort to keep scheduled visits with your child. If a non-custodial parent (the parent the child is not living with) repeatedly fails to show up as planned, it can make a child fell unimportant and unloved. It's also hard for a child to have a relationship with someone who repeatedly fails to keep his or her promises.

How can I work together with my ex-spouse to be good parents ?

Co-Parenting Communication

After a divorce, it is very important to develop co-parenting communication skills. Talk to your ex-spouse in positive ways about issues regarding your children, and don't withhold information from one another. Also, avoid having a child serve as a messenger between you.

How can I make it easier to have a two-home family?

Duplicate Homes, Duplicate Items

For kids of two-home families, it makes life much easier for everyone involved if they have duplicates of daily items such as shoes, jackets, etc. Keep one set at each house, and this will prevent extra trips back and forth, and make sure you can always find what you need.

Is it OK to move to a new community after a divorce?

Stay Within Your Community

After a divorce, it is best to try and find ways to stay within your community, if possible. Maintaining contact with friends, neighbors, and relatives and keeping your child in the same school can provide much-needed stability and support to both children and parents.

How can I make my divorce easier on my kids?

Stay Involved In Everyday Activities

During the painful time of a divorce, it is especially important to stay involved in your child's everyday activities. Children need to see their parents at school functions, sporting events, and piano recitals. They also fare better when other family members such as grandparents, aunts, and uncles, play an active role in their life.

How can a single parent find help and support?

Feelings and Couselors

It is important during times of divorce and separation to really stay in touch with your children's feelings. If your children seem to be withdrawing or not expressing their feelings it may be necessary to seek a counselor for you and your children. Children may sometimes feel awkward about sharing their feelings about each parent with the other parent, a counselor can certainly be beneficial in these situations. Often times your church or local mental health agencies offer low budget or free counseling.

How do I tell my kids that their parents are getting divorced?

Talking to Kids About Divorce

It's best if both parents can be present when kids are told about a parental divorce. Kids need to hear a consistent story about why their parents are divorcing. Give them concrete information about where each parent will be living, where the children will be staying, and where they will be going to school. Make it clear that the divorce is not their fault, and try your best to answer their questions honestly.

How do I speak about my ex in front of my kids?


When you and your spouse divorce don't badmouth your spouse, or anyone else in either family. Hold children to this rule as well. Children will not love you more if you attempt to make your spouse the bad guy in their eyes. This only makes it difficult for them, and at some point they will more than likely resent you for your attacks. Children need to feel it is okay to love both parents without making anyone unhappy.

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Guru Spotlight
Patricia Walters-Fischer