By Brenda L. Storey, Esq.

Last night, after a disappointing team loss, I took my daughter out to dinner.  It reminded me of the power of one-on-one time.   Children, no matter what their age, need to know that they are a priority.  They have an intense need to share their feelings and be heard.  As a parent, being there for them, and giving that time, is one of the easiest things we can do.

During a divorce, children more than ever need that attention.   Divorce is scary and stressful for the parent, with all the unknowns.  It is even more so for a child.    Setting aside time to be with the child, doing fun things, and listening to the child’s feelings should be a priority.   Simple questions like, “hey, are you doing okay with these changes,” can lead to the opening of a flood gate.  Or, it can let the parent know that their child is holding things in, which is not healthy.   When the one-on-one, 100% focus on the child times become a regular part of the child’s life, they learn to express themselves, open up, feel heard, and most importantly feel reassured.

Parents get nervous about these kinds of conversations, as they don’t want to tell their children too much or have their children feel like they are in the middle.   There is no reason to be concerned, as what children need is be heard.  That is not putting them in the middle, and it is not telling them anything.  It is listening – how are you doing?  How are you feeling?   What are the positives you are seeing?   They need reassurance –  Change is so hard, but we will get through this.  I love you so much, and am always here for you.   Gosh I am proud of your ability to share your feelings.  You are a great kid!

Take the time for you children.  Take that precious time for you.  It is the best time you can spend.

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