My parents are divorced. I could even describe them as "happily divorced," (if there is such a thing) as they've each found more suitable spouses and rewarding lives away from their first marriage. They divorced more than 20 years ago, and I am sure that at the time, it was difficult and upsetting.
But I wouldn't know for sure, because they were really good about not discussing their problems in front of me. And that is just one of the many things that made their divorce easier on their children (thanks, Mom and Dad!).
Divorce is a sad and traumatic event for the whole family. And, unfortunately, with the improved economy, the divorce rate is increasing. If you are going through a divorce, remember: Don't leave your children out of the bigger conversation.
The American Psychological Association has released its latest information about children of divorced parents. The organization has found that divorce is actually the better option for children, rather than being exposed to long-term stress from arguing adults. In this article, the APA provides other tips for a smooth divorce, including avoiding sudden changes and talking things through with your children.
To their tips, I would like to add one of my own: Give your children some time; then re-approach the subject. It may be painful, but it should be an on-going conversation, not a taboo topic.
My parents get along very well to this day. Their paths cross at their grandchildren's birthday parties, and they are always incredibly pleasant to one another. I appreciate that - not just for my sake - but for my son's sake as well. He doesn't understand that mommy's parents were once married and are now not. In his world, he has three sets of grandparents, and he thinks that is really cool because he has extra people to spoil him.
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