First Friday Q&A: Supporting Children During Divorce

I’ve been sharing some favorite posts from the archives as I spend some extra time with my family and our new little guy.  This Q&A originally appeared in November 2011.  (That explains the sweater!)  I’d love to hear your new questions!  Keep sending those to me at!

(Video also available here.)

So to recap:

  • Validate their feelings without overreacting or projecting your own emotions.
  • Be a “Charismatic Adult”, providing that arm around the shoulder or the comfy lap to sit on.  Don’t make them stand out or feel like a project, but be aware of them and try to connect daily.
  • Provide consistency and choice whenever possible/reasonable to provide a sense of stability and control.
  • Provide open-ended creative activities (art, writing, dramatic play) to allow them to work through big feelings if and when they choose to.

Resources to consider:

Resiliency/Charismatic Adult — Dr. Sam Goldstein

Helping Your Child Through a Divorce {Kids Health}

14 Books to Help Ease Children Through Transitions {Simple Mom}

Journaling Big Feelings {Simple Kids}

What resources or experiences could you add?



Filed under Child Development & DAP

4 Responses to First Friday Q&A: Supporting Children During Divorce

  1. I would share a new resource from ZERO TO THREE, Love You No Matter What: The Impact of Separation and Divorce on Young Children. It can be found at

  2. Wonderful suggestion, Debbie. Zero to Three has great resources. Thank you for sharing this one!

  3. Chris

    Read Let’s talk about Divorce by Mister Rogers :)

  4. My children were very young when my husband left. At just 18 months and 3 years old, they had no idea what was going on. I found that the best way to support them was to shield them from any conflict. They never heard me badmouth their father, and I had to have serious conversations with my immediate family and some of my friends about not talking negatively about their dad. Allowing them to love the other parent without feeling any guilt or remorse is the greatest gift you can give them.

    I also found the book Helping Your Kids Cope With Divorce the Sandcastles Way to be a good resource.

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