Divorce is hard on adults, but especially hard on kids. How do you explain divorce to kids? We have some tips that will help you with this difficult talk.
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How Do You Explain Divorce to Kids?
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If you have made the difficult decision to go through a divorce, one of the most challenging aspects of this is what to tell the kids. And how to explain what is happening to them. Handling this situation properly can help with a very difficult situation. Of course, how you tell them depends on their age, as well as how they react. Here are some helpful tips for you to help explain divorce to kids involved.
Plan the Discussion
When you are faced with divorce it is difficult to know what to say. Preparing what you are going to say and explain what is happening will help the conversation be less awkward. You may want to think about some of the questions your kids will ask. This way you can come up with some answers to these questions in your head. Think also about the emotions that they could be feeling. Although it might be challenging to discuss with your former partner, it is important that you talk about what to tell the kids. This ensures you are both on the same page. Which leads us to the next point…
Act Like a Team
We all know that divorce isn’t easy, in fact for most it is the most difficult thing they will experience in their life. But it becomes all the more challenging if you are battling with each other. So, remember this, the kids are the most important thing in divorce. Be sure that they know that even though you and your spouse are no longer in love you still love them the same as you did before!
Be Age Appropriate
When discussing divorce what you say to your kids depends on their age and maturity level. For example, if you have preschoolers, they are not likely to ask for complex emotional reasoning. They will not fully understand what is happening. Whereas Slightly older kids are able to understand emotional reasoning a little bit better. But even with that, you don’t want to be blunt with them. Be soft with your approach when talking about divorce. As for teenagers, this can often be the most challenging conversation. But you owe it to them to give them some idea of what the real reasons are in a way which is non-blaming.
Explain Practical Changes
When it comes to practical changes, you should be aiming at consistency as much as possible. Obviously, it is likely that one of you will be moving out. It is important to explain to them when this is happening so they can prepare. You will want to work to keep familiar activities the same. This will include the teams they play on, the schools they go to and friends.
Explaining divorce to kids is inevitably going to lead to a host of challenges, but hopefully, these tips will help you prepare to talk with your kids.
Michele is a Family Life Educator with her degree in marriage and family studies. She is a mom to 5 kids and loves helping others strengthen their families! When she is not blogging she is spending time with her family and running around drinking Diet Coke trying to get everything done!