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Divorce is never easy when children are involved. For the sake of the children, if you are contemplating divorce or have already divorced, how about taking “divorce vows” even though your marriage vows are now inoperable.
Here are some suggested kid-sparing vows. For the sake of our children whom we both love we promise:
o To love our children so much that we will never put them in the middle, will never badmouth the other parent, will never ask our children to take sides or carry messages of anger or grief back and forth.
o To treat each other with respect and talk about each other with respect when the children are present, to avoid any squabbling in front of the children, to stay civil and “talk nice” to each other.
o To tell our children repeatedly that the divorce is not their fault, that we both love them and that it’s OK to love both parents.
o To remind our children that it’s OK to feel sad or angry because the family is breaking up, encourage the children to express their feelings, and help them deal with the pain.
o To help our children tell others about the divorce because sometimes children are embarrassed or ashamed and don’t know what words to use to tell their teacher or friends.
o To help make our children’s lives as predictable as possible because children need to know what will happen to them. (If you are going to sell the house, tell them.)
o To keep lines of communication wide open so that together we can always do what is in the best interest of our children. (Child behavior expert Gary Direnfeld suggests divorcing parents with unresolved conflicts use e-mail. Best if parents stick to the issues, use clean language, and wait 24 hours before sending if there’s any heat in the message.)
Yes, divorce can be termed social surgery and surgery always hurts afterwards and yes, it will always affect the children. But if parents take these vows and keep them, the surgery can be made pretty painless for the children
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