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Children and Divorce

You and your spouse have decided to end your marriage. Although this has been a difficult decision for you and your spouse, it can be a very complicated one for your children. Divorce in many ways is like facing a death in the family, and a grieving process takes place for everyone involved.
Often times after a divorce, you need to rediscover who you are, overcome your own fears and determine how to begin making a new life for you and your children. Once the grieving process has taken place, don't assume things will suddenly go smoothly -- especially when you start dating again. It may be hard for your children to adjust to the "new you" and patience is key. The process of adapting may take longer than what you would like and your children's emotions may be like a roller coaster ride. You have spent years parenting your children and devoting your life to them. Now that you are focusing more time on yourself, your children may become disheartened and insecure. It's extremely important that at this time you strive to attain a balance in your life and enter this new phase of your life gradually. Your children will need you more than ever for support, comfort and reassurance. Many times children become unsure of themselves and aren't sure where they fit into your life, but rest assured that eventually they will come around.
As you begin uncovering the new you, it's not wrong to make time for yourself, but when it seems appropriate, include your children. You are a mom first, and you would not want to sacrifice the needs of your children. Maintain moments of "single" freeness to time with your friends and not in front of your children. As you begin dating again, feeling silly, giddy and young, do it in a way that doesn't affect them. Introducing a lot of casual dates into your children's lives can cause anxiety and confusion. Reassure them that your date is not a replacement for "dad" or them. You would not want your children to feel they are being abandoned.
Your children still need to know that you are the parent and that they can depend on you to provide the love and emotional stability they need.

About the Author

Karen Zastudil is a retired financial analyst with a BA in Economics and Marketing - as the parent, Karen is an advocate for others who are interested in parenting and womens issues. Karen shares her wisdom and her resources at

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