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What Massachusetts parents can do to ease divorce for kids

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You may read all sorts of advice about how to manage the divorce process. At some point, disagreements over property, support and child custody are behind you. You, the ex and your children are living the post-divorce life, but how are you doing with the parenting plan?

There's no denying a Massachusetts divorce can be painful for everyone involved. Getting past the heartache and the hurt as a parent means moving forward with co-parenting skills that will do more good than harm. It's not the easiest task, but it can be done, with or without the guidance of a professional counselor.

Former spouses can fall into bad habits that confuse children like painting a false, rosy picture of divorce. Children don't want to have to bury feelings about a break-up to accommodate an environment where everything has to be "fine." It's okay to admit divorce isn't pleasant.

Parental sniping and subversive behaviors are common problems. Exes air disputes in front of children or within earshot. Children are used to pass messages - sometimes very unfriendly ones - to an ex.

Some parents also put down the other parent while speaking with children or try to erase evidence an ex ever existed. Then, there are tugs of war over which parent is getting the most attention or love. It's almost as if the children and parents have reversed roles!

These actions don't take into consideration how children feel. Kids might be afraid to express a wish not to call or visit a parent on schedule. They also may hide a desire to spend extra time in one parent's company.

It's likely kids know more about how parents feel about divorce than the other way around. If you're a divorced parent, it may be time to walk a mile in your children's shoes. In the meantime, an attorney can help you with any lingering legal problems.

Source: The Huffington Post, "The Most Important New Year's Resolution You'll Ever Make (as a Divorced Parent)" Kate Scharff, Dec. 30, 2014

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