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Contemporary Parenting Questions

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Last updated on 09/15/08

What can I do to help my child cope with divorce?

If you are separated or divorced, you are not alone. The U.S. Census bureau estimates that approximately 50 percent of all American children born in 1982 will live in a single-parent home sometime during their first 18 years, mostly because of separation or divorce. Although a parent dealing with divorce may feel that all of the pressure is focused on themselves, kids are most definitely affected both short-term and long-term from the divorce. Fortunately, parents can help their children cope during a divorce. By minimizing the tension, exercising patience, and responding openly and honestly to your kids' questions, you can minimize the damage divorce can cause.

In the Jewish Community

Although the rate of divorce is thought to be lower in the Jewish Community, no concrete evidence supports a significant difference. In any Yeshiva or Bais Yaakov school, it is likely that at least one child in every class comes from a home broken by divorce. As a result of the stigma placed on divorce in the Jewish community, kids coping with divorce may feel defenseless and alone. It is important to explain to your children that parents who divorce are not evil or sinners. Make them aware of many resources available to them, and encourage them to ask for help when necessary.

Use the following links to learn how to help your child cope with divorce. Educate yourself about normal behaviors of children affected by divorce and read about what you can do to ease the pain for yourself and your children.

Frequently Asked Links

How should I explain the concept of divorce to my child?

How do some children react after a divorce?

What can I do to help my child through a divorce?

How can I help my child cope with divorce? more

Where do children coping with divorce find help?

How do teens deal with divorce?

What are some of the problems that result from divorce and what can be done about them?

By Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

How can a school counselor help my child with divorce?

Where can I find tips for divorcing parents?

What can parents do to reduce to the trauma of divorce?

How can I help my child deal with my dating after a divorce?

Related Articles

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Being a kid does not always mean being carefree - even the youngest tots worry. Find out what stresses kids out and how to help them cope.

When Your Parents Fight
It is normal for parents to disagree and argue sometimes. However, when parents fight, it can make kids feel upset. The good news is that usually families can work together to solve problems.

Taking Your Child to a Therapist
Kids, like adults, can often benefit from therapy – but there are many important things to consider as you look for the right therapist.

Living With Stepparents
Do you have a stepmom or stepdad? Many kids do. Find out more in this article for kids.

Living With a Single Parent
Millions of kids live with just one parent. Are you one of them? Find out more in this article for kids.

Resources

Parents Without Partners
http://www.parentswithoutpartners.org/
Parents Without Partners is an international nonprofit organization devoted to single parents and their children.

Divorce Online
http://www.divorceonline.com
Divorce Online is for people involved in, or facing the prospect of, divorce.

Academy of Family Mediators
http://www.mediate.com/people/personprofile.cfm?auid=724
This organization helps families locate family mediators. For assistance in locating a family mediator in your area, contact: Academy of Family Mediators 5 Militia Dr. Lexington, MA 02421 (781) 674-2663

Children's Rights Council
http://www.gocrc.com
Local chapters of the Children's Rights Council throughout the country deal with custody issues and divorce reform and work to ensure meaningful and continuing contact for the child between both parents and extended families. Contact them at: Children's Rights Council 6200 Editors Park Dr., Suite 103 Hyattsville, MD 20782 (301) 559-3120

Joint Custody Association

This organization provides detailed information about joint custody. Contact this group at: Joint Custody Association 10606 Wilkins Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90024 (310) 475-5352

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