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How to deal with children's choices during divorce

Divorcees likely know that a divorce may take an emotional toll on the spouses involved, but they may know the extent it can have on children. This may be especially true when one parent essentially is not allowed to spend as much time with the children as he or she once did.

When this happens, kids invariably may take sides and become adamant about spending more time with, or living with, the other parent. These feelings may manifest themselves with a child acting out. Their grades may begin to fall, they may become disrespectful to a parent or may even become depressed.

It is important for parents to recognize these feelings and address them properly. While we are not child psychologists, we believe that the following tactics can help in repairing strained relationships. 

Listen impartially – This may be tough to do given how angry a child may be, but take solace that the anger may not be against you specifically. Instead, a child may be frustrated that they have no control of their situation or no say about what their wishes are.

Embrace their relationship with the other parent – While you may hate the other parent, the child still may see them as a great person; especially if they have a great deal in common. Instead of trying to restrict or sabotage the relationship, making sure that it continues may be better for the child.

Continue to be yourself – If your child bonds with the other parent over things you detest (e.g. video games, certain music), do not feel compelled to change everything about yourself to accommodate their wishes.

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Kajko, Weisman & Colasanti, LLP

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