Tennessee parents who are worried about the effect of their divorce on their children might wonder what they can do to help them. Children may need reassurance that they are not the reason for the situation and that they can go on loving both of their parents.

Although co-parenting is challenging, doing so effectively is an important part of helping children adjust. Ideally, parents can spend holidays and children’s birthdays together so their children do not have to go to two separate events or feel as though they have to choose between parents. However, even if they are unable to do this, parents should try to accept that they will eventually need to attend some of the same events together, such as a wedding or a graduation.

There may be times when a child is upset with the other parent. When this happens, a parent should not see it as an opportunity to badmouth the other parent but should help the child work through it as would be the case if it were any other family member. One thing that can help children a great deal is if parents can agree about keeping rules consistent in both of their households. This can give children a needed sense of security and structure.

Parents may want to try to come to an agreement about child custody outside of court. Mediation is a process that can often help them resolve conflict and avoid litigation. Its aim is to help participants reach a mutually beneficial solution as opposed to litigation, which takes an adversarial approach. If parents must go to court, the judge will take several factors into account to determine what type of custody arrangement would be in the best interests of the child, which is usually having a relationship with both parents.