Everything else should be secondary to that.
There are a handful of very basic tips that will help to reduce the stress and heartache inflicted on the child. It is imperative that both parents get on board and unite to keep their child from being emotionally scarred.
*Do not discuss any aspect of the case and court proceedings with your child. Just as the marriage was between the adults, so should the divorce be. Children do not need to be told every detail of a courtroom brawl you are having with their other parent. They should be oblivious to it, as it is not something within their control, nor will knowledge of the details have a positive affect on them.
*Do not make your child feel as if he or she has to choose sides in the divorce. Again, divorce is something that should remain between the parents. Neither side is a “winning” side to the children whose parents split up. Allow them to be neutral, and feel comfortable loving and wanting the best for both of their parents.
*Encourage your child to talk openly about their feelings. Let them know that they can ask any questions they may have, and provide them with appropriate answers. (There are things they do not need to know) Be sure to give them your undivided attention when they are talking. This will let them know that you truly want to hear what they have to say, you care how they are feeling, and that your love for them is greater than any dislike for your ex spouse.
*Give your child every available opportunity to continue a close and loving relationship with the other parent. This includes phone calls, visits, email, and any other age appropriate form of communication. Unrestricted contact is very important, and will play a significant part in the child’s ability to get through the divorce and beyond, relatively unscathed.
*As difficult as it may be, do not speak badly or say negative things about the other parent in front of your children. They do not need to be made aware of why you are divorcing, arguments over division of assets, child support issues, or anything else.
Just doing these simple things will help you to help your child.