Gusty A.E. Sunseri & Associates, P.C. Attorneys at Law

How to help children deal with their parents' divorce, Part 2

Yesterday's blog post began a discussion of how divorcing parents can help their children to be in the best possible position to survive the emotional trauma of divorce. Children are resilient, but they need the right atmosphere in which to fully adjust to the changes that come with divorce. 

A professor of psychology at Wake Forest University, Christy Buchanan, has developed a list called the Five Cs that she uses to help divorcing parents understand how best to help their children through the divorce process. The Five Cs are:

Cash: It is difficult for children to deal with having two disparate standards of living between their parents' households. Situations where one household is having trouble making ends meet, and the other is providing luxuries, should be avoided. This is one of the reasons for child support and spousal support.

Change: This should be kept at a minimum. Children really need routine. It is often impossible to do financially, but if it is possible, the children should continue to live in the family home and attend the same schools. In any case, rules should be consistent between households. It will also help if pre-divorce routines are continued with the children after the divorce.

Conflict: Parents should never denigrate the other parent to the children. Children who are torn between parents have the hardest time adjusting to post-divorce life.

Care: Both parents need to continue to provide care for the children, in matters large and small. They should also have age-appropriate rules and expectations for the children.

Closeness: Research shows that children who remain close to both parents are the best off. Closeness should be maintained by involvement in both special occasions and everyday activities.

Pittsburgh divorce lawyers know that divorcing parents are deeply concerned about their children's welfare. That concern is a strong basis on which to build an environment where kids can thrive after divorce.

Source: WSJ "The Child-Focused Divorce" Sept. 6, 2011

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