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Helping children cope with the aftermath of a divorce

Any parent in Missouri would likely agree that major changes in a child's life have the potential of creating stress for the child. This is certainly true when a child's parents are going through a divorce. Fortunately, parents can take steps to help children through this transition.

In many cases, it helps if parents are willing to sit down and communicate openly with one another. Not only does this allow them to reflect on their current processes and make changes as necessary, it also shows the children that their parents are willing to work together for their benefit. An important issue for parents to keep in mind is the impact that loyalty conflicts, in which the child feels compelled to choose one parent over the other, can have. Preventing the need for children to feel as if they must keep a secret from the other parent, for example, can reduce these feelings.

Another way to help children is to ensure that parenting plans take into consideration that children may need different parameters set based on their age. For example, it may help younger children if they do not have to transition between houses frequently. On the other hand, older children may want more control over their own schedule as their interests shift to spending time with peers. 

While a divorce is a time of big change for children and parents, there are certain steps that families can take to help mitigate long-term effects. For example, some research shows that children of divorce, who spent roughly equal time with both parents, report having higher self-esteem levels as adults. However, a one-size-fits-all approach to parenting may not be appropriate, and parents in Missouri often want a professional with experience with family law, helping them as they create a plan for their new life.

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