How To Explain Divorce To Children

How To Explain Divorce To ChildrenThe breakup of a marriage can be devastating and affects many people surrounding the divorcing couple. The people who are affected by it most are the children, who are unable to comprehend what is happening and what it means to them. How to explain divorce to children is something that many struggle with, whether they are facing a divorce themselves or simply trying to help a child understand what divorce means.

The most important thing to keep in mind when talking to kids about their family splitting up is that their family is everything to them. Adults have jobs and hobbies and various activities, but a child’s world is their family. So when they are told that a divorce is going to take place, their entire world is shaken up and everything becomes uncertain. The key to addressing these feelings is to give the kids assurance that they are still loved just as much and that they will continue to have the love and stability they had previously. Be honest about the fact that yes, things are very different after a divorce and that life changes drastically, but let them know that a parent’s feelings toward a child will not alter.

Children are bound to ask “Why?” even if the deterioration of the marriage has been obvious to them. Obviously, explaining marital problems (especially in detail) is not a wise decision. The children need to know first and foremost that the divorce is not their fault and that they are in no way, shape or form responsible for what is happening. The best explanation will center on the idea that sometimes, things just don’t work out.

When considering how to explain divorce to children, also keep in mind that children are going to want to know what is going to happen when a split is imminent. They will want to know where they will live, if they will switch schools, when they will see each parent and how, in general, their lives will change. Be prepared to field these questions to the best of your abilities before sitting down to talk to your children about divorce.

Life after splitting up is difficult, because everything changes. Dealing with your own emotions in addition to those of a child or children can be confusing. Being honest with yourself and your children is necessary in order to cope in a healthy manner. Telling yourself that change is good is one thing, but believing it is another, and helping your children to know it is a big challenge. Accepting that things are different and will stay that way is one of the biggest hurdles you will face mentally after splitting up and children often struggle with fantasies of life going back to the way it used to be. Providing a stable home in which the children feel comfortable expressing their thoughts and feelings is the best way to welcome the acceptance that is necessary in order for both you and your children to move on.

Talking to children about divorce is oftentimes confusing for both you and them. Being a strong family unit that respects each other’s thoughts and feelings is what keeps you moving in the right direction, together.

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