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Divorce and kids and dating

When my husband and I finally agreed it was time to throw in the towel, I wasn't fooling myself: I knew that for Maggie, then 5, and Evan, then 3, our divorce would be a tragedy. The first three days after Jack moved out, Evan screamed himself awake; Maggie cried herself to sleep.

He sees them at least three times a week, usually more, and is a totally involved father.

But as much as Jack and I would like to see our divorce as past tense, it's a permanent state to my kids.

With each new developmental stage, they have new questions and worries. D., a leading divorce researcher and coauthor of What About the Kids?

That's because divorce plants a persistent fear in children, no matter how old they are: "If one parent can leave another, it's only natural for a child to wonder, 'How do I know they won't leave me? Raising Your Children Before, During, and After Divorce.

However, there are experts who say that children of divorce can thrive if parents consciously focus on helping them feel secure.

An increasing number of divorcing couples are determined to do what's best for their kids, and they're willing to make peace with one another to achieve that, says E. D., coauthor of For Better or Worse: Divorce Reconsidered. First of all, divorce courts have undergone sweeping changes to emphasize children's needs.

Today, for example, in 28 states, divorcing parents must by law attend classes that explain how children are wounded by high-conflict divorces and that teach the importance of cooperative parenting.

In addition, the newest generation of parents is far more likely to have experienced divorce themselves as children, and they want to make it easier on their own kids.

Young dads in particular are committed to staying involved in their children's lives, says therapist M.

Gary Neuman, creator of the Sandcastles divorce therapy program used in many courts and author of Helping Your Kids Cope With Divorce the Sandcastles Way.

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