Tips for Children

When parents separate, children have a difficult time. These tips are from children who have been through a separation. You can review them and discuss with your own children.

  1. IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT. Don't feel guilty about the separation or when your parents argue. It's not up to you to get them to stop.
  2. THINGS WILL GET BETTER. Life at home won't always be like this.
  3. DON'T TRY TO SOLVE YOUR PARENTS' PROBLEMS. Don't take sides. If one parent asks your opinion or advice about the other, say, "I think I'd better stay out of this."
  4. LEAVE WHEN YOUR PARENTS ARGUE. If you can, do something that helps take your mind off it. Call a friend, put on a CD or video, or get out of the house.
  5. THESE EXPERIENCES ARE REALLY HARD ON EVERYONE. You're not crazy to feel the way you do.
  6. DON'T KEEP YOUR FEELINGS INSIDE. Find someone you can trust and talk to: your schoolteacher, school counselor, family doctor, or a family member that you trust.

You can also call the Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868 any day at any time. Here you can talk to a counselor who will give you support and information. Or you can check out the website: You can also visit which provides resources for kids and teens on separation and divorce.


7. ASK YOUR PARENTS FOR WHAT YOU NEED. For example: Please spend some time alone with me, even five minutes of my very own time This means time that is not related to school, cleaning my room, etc. Don't get angry when I say I want to live with my other parent. When I say it, I am angry, hurt and scared and I really miss my other parent. Let me tell you what I want to about my visits with the other parent. Sometimes I'm afraid I'll hurt your feelings if I say I had a good time. Please don't call me the "man" or the "mother" of the house; I need to be a child. Please trust me if sometimes I don't want to talk. You may be ready to talk when I'm not.

Worksheet 2
Now it's time to review Worksheet 2 "Focusing on my Child." Use this worksheet after you have completed the Problem/No Problem checklist. If you have identified problems, you can get help from the Resources section.

Are you ready for the password that will get you to the next section? This time it's: bigbird


Focusing on
My Child Worksheet 2 (PDF)

Guiding Your Child Through the Separation Process