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Explaining divorce to small children

On Behalf of | Oct 3, 2023 | Blog, Divorce

Children often wonder why things change. They may notice mom and dad are not together anymore and ask questions. Parents might feel unsure about how to explain this complicated situation.

Discussing divorce with young people can be challenging. Approaching the topic with compassion can help create a safe environment for everyone.

Reassure them of your love

Begin by ensuring they know both parents love them immensely. Even if they live apart, both will be there for special moments and everyday routines. Since 43% of children in America are living without their fathers, this is important for them to know.

Keep the explanation clear

Discuss divorce using straightforward language. Highlight the changes they might face and make it clear that despite the separation, both parents will play an active role in their lives.

Emphasize consistency

It is vital for young people to understand that most aspects of their life will not change. Friends, schools and hobbies will remain the same. Their parents’ relationship might be evolving, but their daily life should stay consistent.

Encourage emotional expression

Young people can feel a range of emotions, from sadness to anger. Let them share their feelings and ensure they know it is natural to feel this way. Offer support and love throughout these conversations.

Stay patient

Young people might have questions or strong feelings even after you have talked. Address their concerns patiently and openly. They might show anger or try to place blame, so they will need reassurance during these times.

Utilize external resources

Various tools, from books to therapists, can help young people cope with divorce. Seek out these resources for additional guidance.

Remember that talking about divorce requires patience and continuous reassurance. Keep communication open and provide a stable environment, helping them adapt to their new family situation.