1. Emphasize that the divorce is entirely the parent’s decision.
2. Explain that the divorce is not the child’s fault.
3. If true, say everything was done to preserve the family/ relationship.
4. If true, tell children that the decision will not be changed (don’t give false hope).
5. Be open to your child’s questions. If they don’t ask, don’t assume that everything is OK.
6. Be prepared to repeat explanations to children over time.
7. Reassure the children that their needs will be met.
8. Explain the decisions made as to when the children will see each parent.
9. Try to avoid major moves for the children.
10. Reassure children that both parents love them and will continue to see them.
11. If a parent is not involved, try to find a person who can help fill the gap.
12. Try to spend individual time with each child.
13. Do not use the child as a messenger or spy to get even with other parent.
14. Do not force or ask a child to take sides. Don’t bad mouth the other parent.
15. Remember birthdays/holidays. Preserve some traditions and start new ones.
16. Attend special activities in which the child is a participant.
17. Keep promises.
18. Respect generational boundaries and don’t make your child a confidant.
19. Maintain discipline. Love your children, but set reasonable limits.
20. Develop a plan to resolve conflict with the other parent so that the child never sees hostility between the parents.