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Is your child experiencing sleep issues during your divorce?

Even the most amicable divorces can be difficult for kids. Their world as they know it is being turned upside down. It's not surprising that many children whose parents are splitting up have a difficult time sleeping.

There are things that parents can do to help children who are having sleep issues due to anxiety. Talking to them and letting them share their feelings is helpful. Reassure them that your feelings about them haven't changed. The less they have to keep their feelings bottled up, the better off they'll likely be.

Keeping kids' routines as close to what they were before is important. That includes bedtime routines. If they're used to having a bedtime story read to them or taking some time to chat about their day, continue that.

If they've always had both parents around when they get tucked into bed, have your co-parent involved via video chat or phone. If you can keep the bedtime routine the same regardless of which house they're in, it will help provide needed consistency in your child's life.

It may be tempting to let your child climb into bed with you. You probably can both use the companionship. However, that's not a long-term solution to the problem. Find other ways to comfort your child. This could include stuffed animals, music or nightlights.

If your child is having problems sleeping as you and your co-parent go through a divorce, it's essential to talk about it and determine how best to deal with it. This will no doubt be the first of many parental challenges that you'll need to deal with as you go your separate ways.

Source: Our Family Wizard, "4 Tips for Helping Your Child Sleep During a Separation," accessed July 13, 2017

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