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Parents can remain heroes to their kids even during a divorce

Children in Philadelphia believe in many imaginary things such as fairy tales and monsters. They also believe in more credible thing such as their parents. As parents go through a divorce, they frequently forget the importance of their children's belief in them and often let the intense emotions of divorce overwhelm them.

What parents would do well to remember, though, is that their children are just as affected by the breakup as they are -- if not more so. Parents have a responsibility to not become monsters that their children fear but to remain heros who can help them cope.

Offsetting the negative effects of divorce can be done with a few obvious but sometimes difficult steps.

First, try to create and maintain a routine. Order during chaos can bring comfort, especially to younger children. Letting the child have a reasonable amount of say in situations such as the after-school routine or bedtime can also help children feel a sense of control.

Second, make sure children understand that the marriage did not end because of them. Children need reassurance that they are not to blame.

Third, do not openly disparage the other parent and never ever go into the sordid details behind the marriage's failure. Speaking badly about a spouse causes nothing but pain for both parents and their children.

Fourth, keep the spouse in the loop, as hard as it may be. Children need both of their parents, especially quality time with them. Never take away time with the other parent as a way to punish the children or the other parent. And make extra time to be with the children physically and emotionally.

Finally, parents should let their children be children. Kids should enjoy their childhood and not have to become surrogate parents to younger siblings. The less kids have to think about divorce, the better.

Divorce may be a challenging time, especially when a divorce involves child custody and support issues. Even so, kids can still have positive memories from this period of their lives if their parents respect each other's rights and attempt to remain cordial in the presence of their children.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Remember, Your Children Are Going Through This Divorce Too," Michelle Crosby, May 6, 2014

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