A divorce is a very sad, confusing, and stressful time in a child’s life.
Helping children cope with their parent’s divorce means making them feel loved, bringing some stability to their lives, and putting their needs first. Having a positive and reassuring attitude with your children can help reduce the confusion and fear the children are experiencing. How you tell the children about your divorce can play a big role in helping to deal with their confusion and fear.
It is very important that you and your spouse try to tell the children together. No matter how bad things may be between the two of you, it is important that children see their parents are trying to work through this difficult time together.
If you and your spouse are not able to tell the children together, it is best that each parent tell the children the same thing. You want to avoid any possibility of conflicting messages, so come to a decision about what to say before you tell the children. Regardless of whether you tell your children together or separately, it is very important that you do not blame the other parent.
When explaining things to children, what you tell them will depend on the ages of the children.
For younger children:
It is very difficult for younger children to understand why their parents are no longer together. Explain the situation to them in terms that they can understand. Don’t ignore thier questions. Answer them honestly and simply. It can be difficult for small children to
For older children:
Older children will probably want to know more and have more questions. It is fine to answer the questions, but do not give them every detail. You do not want to overwhelm the child with details of the divorce. When answering questions for any child it is very important not to lie to them. You can choose to not tell the children all of the information, but you should not lie to them.
Talk to your children about how both parents will continue to be involved in their lives. Tell the children that both parents will stay involved, even if it means making phone calls to the children, or writing them letters. Emphasize that even though living arrangements may change, both parents will continue to spend time with the children. Children should have positive relationships with both parents, and this can only happen if both parents are involved in the lives of the children.
Most importantly, make sure your children know that it is not their fault that their parents are getting a divorce. Many children, especially younger ones, tend to view themselves as a cause of the divorce. Assure the children that in no way are they a cause of the divorce and that both parents will continue to love them.
During a divorce, children need to feel loved and supported. Parents must put the needs of their children first and provide reassurance that the children are loved and cared for. Parents should listen to the questions their children have and should be honest with their children about the divorce, but provide age-appropriate information and answers to questions. During the divorce, both parents should continue to be involved in lives of the children and assure their children that they are loved.
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