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Relationships Quick Answers



How can we help children adjust when one parent wants the divorce and the other does not?

Regardless of the specific divorce situation, what children need most is supportive relationships with their parent(s). If the parents are well-adjusted, this will be very beneficial to the child's adjustment during this process. Also, having an ongoing, supportive relationship with another adult, such as a teacher, coach, or relative, can help children adjust to divorce.  


What this means is that divorcing parents can best help their child by giving their child lots of love and affection, and providing consistent rules and positive discipline. Parents can also help children by keeping predictable routines, staying involved in their child’s life, providing child support, and taking care of their own mental and physical health.

Some resources for further information are:

Helping Children Understand Divorce:

Books about Divorce and Stepfamilies for Adults and Kids

What Parents Can Do to Help Young Children Adjust to Divorce




Kim Leon, Ph.D., Former Assistant Professor and State Specialist, Human Development & Family Studies, Human Environmental Sciences, University of Missouri Extension


Alison Levitch, Human Development & Family Studies Graduate Student, Human Environmental Sciences, University of Missouri Extension







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Last update: Thursday, August 21, 2008




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