How should you talk to your children about divorce?

When a couple in North Carolina decides that it is time to end a marriage, the situation becomes tricky if they have children, no matter how old they are. Kids react differently to this news depending on their age, but most fear the lack of stability and the unknown. Parents can help to counteract many of these worries with some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

When you talk to your child, it is important to keep the message simple and clear. Leave out any of the messy details about what caused the divorce and what led to your decision. Children will often take those feelings upon themselves and may feel responsible for the divorce. It is ideal that parents talk to the children together and in a calm manner. See below for some things you can say to your child:

  • You now have two homes where you are loved.
  • We will both continue to be an important part of your life.
  • Your parents will both be happier in this new situation.

It is always important that you notice your child’s reaction to the news. Teenagers may be more in tune and aware that divorce is coming, while younger children may feel confused and sad. Allow your kids to ask questions and provide clear, simple answers.

One thing many kids think about when divorce happens is their own security and safety. They worry about how the divorce will change their everyday lives. Kids may not be able to articulate their emotions or concerns immediately, so keep lines of communication open and continuously discuss their feelings.

Parents should always make it clear to their kids that they did not cause the divorce. It is important that children know they have done nothing wrong and their parents independently made the decision to divorce.