Children don’t always understand the complexities of marriage and divorce. The concept of divorce may cause your child to be confused, saddened and stressed. When it comes to talking about divorce to your child, you may find the subject a lot harder to approach than you realized, you might even freeze up.
You may be able to make the conversation with your child about divorce easier with a few steps to keep in mind. Here’s what you should consider:
Prepare in advance
Talking to your child about divorce may not be easy, but you may be able to plan when and how you’ll talk to your child. You may want to talk about why the divorce is happening, when it’ll happen and what will change – however, you may not have all these details yet.
You may consider talking to your child at the right time. You may not want to tell your child you’re getting a divorce right before they go to school. That could leave your child with unwanted thoughts during a time when they can’t ask questions.
Don’t let your child blame themselves
Younger children can be especially prone to believe they did something wrong to cause your divorce. Children don’t always have the same critical thinking skills as adults and may perceive their actions to have major consequences.
Let your child ask questions
Your child will likely have a lot of questions – this can change depending on the age of your child. You should consider letting your child ask as many questions as they want to better understand your divorce. You may not want to answer every question and you may consider giving the best you can provide.
Explain what might change in your child’s life
Your life isn’t the only one that’s going to change after your divorce, but your child’s too. You may be able to tell your child if they’ll be changing schools, moving or seeing any major changes in their life.
It’s hard to talk to children about divorce when you don’t know all the details yourself. If you’re discussing divorce and don’t know where to start, you may need to reach out to a divorce attorney to know what options you have.