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Reducing the stress of children after a divorce.

Illinois parents in a post-divorce environment go through several facets of stress when moving on in their lives. Financial, social and emotional changes due to the divorce all can take their toll. These parents understand that the divorce also has an emotional impact upon the children of the marriage. Because a divorce is a new experience for both parents and children, many are not equipped to handle the situation.

However, the parents dealing with a child's emotions after the marriage has ended is not a hopeless situation. With a few simple rules and parenting techniques, the likelihood of a well-adjusted child increases substantially.

One of the main things parents should follow is consistency. Both parents should be constant in discipline, chores, homework assignments and other activities. To achieve this consistency, cooperation from both parents is necessary. Supporting each other's decisions in these areas gives the child a set of expectations and certainty as to whether a form of conduct is approved or not.

Another area of concern is blame sharing. Divorced parents may experience doubts and self-blame as to why the marriage ended. Children will also have thoughts of their own as to whether they contributed to the divorce. Some children may be open about the subject, and others may not, but all will likely have some doubt. This is why children will need to be assured that they are not to blame, whether or not they express these feelings, and should be reminded regularly.

Taking an active part in the child's life after the divorce is another important step in post-divorce adjustment. When the parent is absent and lives a distance from the child, maintaining a relationship is more difficult, but it can be done. Regular phone calls, online games and web cam meetings can all help maintain the relationship with the child.

A family law attorney may be able to help a divorcing parent establish guidelines for shared parenting responsibilities. Settling differences through mediation may be less costly and stressful than litigating.

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