As an experienced NJ & PA Divorce Mediator, one of my reasons for pursuing a career in Mediation was to help children of divorcing couples. When I begin a Divorce Mediation and understand that children are involved I immediately focus on making sure that the couple is focused on helping their children get through this traumatic experience the best way possible.
I have developed some ground rules that I share with the couples and recently I was reading some literature by Dr. Huntley. Dr. Huntley created these 10 rules that are gender neutral and that really get to the heart of what your children are feeling. Please use them as a guideline and please remember to always keep the interest of the children at the forefront of your divorce.
Please feel free to contact us if you would like to schedule a complimentary 30 minute consultation to understand if Divorce Mediation is good for your Divorce. 856.669.7172
Going Through a Divorce-A Child’s Perspective
1. Don’t put me in the middle. If you need to talk to each other, please do it yourself.
2. Don’t make me take sides. You may not have a husband/wife anymore, but I still have a mom/dad. When possible, tell me something positive about my parent.
3. Unless there is an abusive situation, allow me to have access to both parents. Take this into account when you are deciding where to live.
4. The better you get along with each other, the better I will be able to cope with the divorce.
5. Ask me how I am doing and what I need. Even though you are going through your own loss, I need help talking about what is going on.
6. Try to keep everything else in my life the same. It is stressful enough to lose a parent to divorce, but even tougher to move to a different school, a new neighborhood, and a new home.
7. Remember that I am your child. Although you have gone through a divorce, my role is not to replace your spouse or be a friend. Continue to treat me as your child.
8. If you need to talk to somebody about what you are going through, find a friend or a therapist. It is too much for me to carry your burden as well.
9. No matter what my age is, this is still a loss for me. I may show my grief in many different ways, including anger, depression, anxiety, or acting-out behavior. Please get me help if I am having difficulty.
10. I long for continuity, routine, and tradition. Although our family has changed, keep as many traditions and routines the same as possible.