Separation and Divorce
divorce are hard for everyone. Help your children through
this difficult period by spending as much time with them
as you can and giving them lots of love. Encourage them
to enjoy their time with their other parent. Let them
know that the breakup is not their fault.
For your child’s sake, try to get along with your
former partner. Talk about your child, share information
and solve parenting problems together when you can. There
are many ways to be a good parent. What’s most important
for your child is loving care from each parent.
With specialized babycare equipment, Denise is able
to carry both children.
Shawna is working at home for a while to help
her child adjust to the separation.
Parenting with Your Child’s Other Parent
- Commit to a regular schedule of time with
- Share information and be
open to information from the other parent.
- Know that children can adapt well to living in two
places if they get consistent, loving care.
- If you are new to parenting, slowly increase
your time with your child until you become more
comfortable. Take a parenting class or get more
help from relatives.
- If you have doubts
about your ex-partner’s caregiving skills,
be clear about your concerns and say what needs
- Allow each parent time to
learn parenting skills.
- Do what you
say you are going to do. Trust is important.
- Join a support group for single parents.
Tom says, “I love my Saturday
mornings with Alyssa. We usually go to the park
and the grocery
Routines help children feel secure. They also help you manage a
busy schedule. Find things to do together
regularly, like chores and reading bedtime stories. Talk
to your child’s other parent about the routines
you follow with your child.
Things You Can Do
Where to Find Help
Richard and his daughter
live with Richard’s mother. “Mom takes care
of Selena during the day. I do all the evening and weekend
care. I feel so lucky to have this time with my baby.”
- Creating a new family is often
hard. Give children time to get used to new siblings
and adults. Discuss roles and rules before you move
in together. If you’re
a stepparent, don’t be afraid to give your stepchild
love and direction. For referrals to sup-port groups
for stepfamilies, call National Stepfamily Resource Center.
Spend Time with Your Children
- Your time and affection are
the most important things you can give your children.
If your children don’t see you, they will think
it’s because you don’t love them anymore.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money on gifts
and outings—just spend time together.