1. Tell your children the truth, with simple explanations. Tell them where the other parent is.

2. Don’t bring up grievances or speaking derogatorily about the other parent to or in front of your children.

3. Don't discuss financial, legal or other disputes with your children.

4. Don’t say things that might discourage your children from spending time with the other parent.

5. Don’t pressure them to take sides.

6. Don’t argue, fight, or make threats in the presence of your children.

7. Keep agreements you make with the other parent. Be reliable and prompt, so the children can depend on and trust both parents. Avoid scheduling activities for the children which conflict with the visitation schedule, and if unable to keep the scheduled arrangements, notify the other parent as soon as possible.

8. Don't use your children to get back at or send messages to your ex-spouse. Children in the crossfire get terribly wounded.

9. Children may feel responsible for the divorce or may try to bring parents back together. Let them know they are not to blame and that your decision is final.

10. Divorcing parents may feel guilty and overindulgent. Set limits with your children.

11. Continue to be the parent and seek other adults to fill your relationship needs. Don't allow your child to become "man of the house" or "little mother".

12. Arrange for both parents to be notified and be authorized to act in an emergency. Keep the other parent, school, and daycare advised of your current residence address and telephone numbers.

13 Reassure them that they will be safe, secure, and cared for; even though marital love may end, parent love endures.

14. Spend as much time as possible with each child individually.

15. Be patient with yourself and your children.

Darlene Lancer, Copyright, 2009

Author's Bio: 

Darlene Lancer is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and life coach with a broad range of experience, working with individuals and couples for more than twenty years. Her focus is on helping individuals overcome obstacles to leading fuller lives, and helping couples enhance their communication, intimacy, and passion. Darlene was a Senior Mediator in Los Angeles Conciliation Court. She is a speaker, freelance writer, and maintains private practice in Santa Monica, CA.