Talking With Your Child About Divorce
Divorce is one of the things that no one ever expects to have to go through. It can be an incredibly difficult and trying time for both adults and children.
While it is important to protect your child from the negative aspects of divorce, it is also important to make sure that they understand what is happening and why.
How To Tell Your Child About Divorce
If you are getting divorced, there are some things that you should keep in mind when talking to your child about it:
Prepare what you are going to say ahead of time.
You should take some time to think about what you want to say and how you want to say it.
You may even want to write it down beforehand so that you don't forget anything or get too emotional during the conversation.
Be honest with them about what it means that their parents are going their separate ways.
Many children will have heard about divorce before, but they may not really understand what it means.
Explain to them that you and your spouse are no longer going to be married, but that you still love them very much and that will never change, no matter what happens.
Related: When To Talk To Your Child About Death
Choose the right time to talk to your child.
This is not a conversation that should be had on your way to school - it's going to take some time and patience and could result in a meltdown, so make sure that you have plenty of time and space to talk.
Try to avoid talking about it when you are angry or upset, as this will only make things worse.
If possible, wait until you have had a chance to calm down before discussing it with your child. They can be very sensitive to your emotions, so it's important to be as level-headed as possible.
Be prepared for questions - and lots of them.
Your child is likely to have a lot of questions about what this means for their life, and you should try to answer them as honestly as you can.
If you don't know the answer to something, be honest about that too. They will appreciate your honesty more than anything.
Listen to their concerns and feelings without judgement
This is not the time to start arguing with your child or trying to convince them of anything - they just need to be heard.
Remember that your child will probably blame themselves for the divorce
It is important to assure them that it is not their fault and that you still love them very much.
Being close to one or both parents, a child will, most likely, draw the inference that they are somehow the cause of what's about to happen to their family and they will be asking themselves and their parents a myriad of questions.
Things To Avoid Saying To Your Child About Divorce
There are some things that you should probably avoid saying to your child when you are telling them about the divorce:
Don't say anything that would make them feel like they have to choose sides
This can only serve to further upset them and make them feel like they have to choose sides.
Again, children are impressionable and they will remember the negative things that you say about their other parent, even if you later take them back.
Don't make promises that you can't keep
By telling them that everything will be exactly the same as it was before or that they will never see their other parent again is creating a rod for your own back - divorce is a big change and it's important to be honest with your child about that.
Don't try to sugarcoat it by telling them that it's not a big deal or that it won't change anything
It's important to be honest with your child about the fact that divorce is a big deal and it will inevitably change things.
Talking to your child about divorce can be a difficult conversation, but it's important to remember hat you are the best person to have that conversation with them.
What To Say When Your Child Asks Why You Got Divorced
This is a difficult question because there is no "right" answer. You will need to use your judgement to decide what you think is appropriate for your child to know.
Children don't need to know the nitty-gritty details of why you are getting divorced, but they do need to know that there was/is nothing that they did to make it happen.
Honesty IS important, but at the same time, you don't need to go into too much detail about what led to the divorce because, to them, those are essentially irrelevant.
Just assure them that it's not their fault and that you still love them very much.
Waiting To Divorce Until Child Is 18
This is a decision that any parent considering divorcing their spouse will be left pondering and, of course, it will depend on a lot of different factors.
The age of the child is obviously a big factor to consider. If your child is still very young, then it might be best to wait until they are a bit older before going through with the divorce.
This way, they will be able to understand it a bit better and won't feel like they have been left out of the loop.
Of course, this isn't always possible and sometimes the situation between the parents is too toxic to wait.
In these cases, it's important to try and make the divorce as amicable as possible for the sake of the child.
No matter what you decide, just remember that your child's well-being should always be your number one priority.
How To Tell Your Teenager You Are Getting A Divorce
This can be a difficult conversation to have, but it's important to remember that your teenager is probably already aware that something is going on.
Of course, this is a conversation that you will need to tailor specifically to your child, but the main things to remember are to be honest with them and to make sure that their well-being is always your number one priority.
What age is the hardest on a child during divorce?
Age isn't necessarily the hardest thing on a child during divorce, it's more to do with how well the parents handle the situation. If the parents are constantly arguing and fighting in front of the child, then that is going to be much harder for them than if the parents are able to remain civil and amicable. It's also important to remember that every child is different and will react differently to their parents getting divorced.
How do I help my child cope with divorce?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, but some things that might help your child cope with divorce are: making sure that they know it's not their fault, being honest with them about what is happening, remaining civil and amicable with your ex-spouse (if possible), and always putting their well-being first.
How can divorce affect a child emotionally?
Divorce can affect a child emotionally in many different ways, some of which might include: feeling like they are to blame for the divorce, feeling insecure and anxious about the future, feeling confused and overwhelmed, and feeling sad and lonely. It's important to remember that every child is different and will react differently to their parents getting divorced.
What are some tips for co-parenting after a divorce?
Some tips for co-parenting after a divorce might include: communicating with each other regularly, being respectful of each other's time and space, making sure that your child always comes first, and trying to remain civil and amicable with each other (if possible).
What are some signs that my child is having difficulty coping with my divorce?
Signs that your child could be having a difficult time coping with your divorce are: if they seem withdrawn or uninterested in things that they used to enjoy, if they start doing poorly in school or acting out, if they seem more clingy or needy than usual, or if they start exhibiting signs of anxiety or depression. If you are concerned about your child's well-being, it might be worth speaking to a professional about how they are coping with the divorce.
When to tell your child you're getting divorced?
This will depend on the specific situation and the age of the child. However, it's generally advisable to tell your child about the divorce as soon as possible so that they can begin to process it and understand what is happening.
Are you still considered family after divorce?
This is a difficult question to answer, as it will depend on the individual situation. In some cases, divorce can be very acrimonious and both parties might want nothing to do with each other. However, in other cases, the divorce might be amicable and both parties might still consider each other family. Ultimately, this is something that you will need to decide for yourself.
What are some of the long term effects of divorce on children?
Some of the long term effects of divorce on children might include: feeling insecure and anxious about relationships, feeling like they are to blame for the divorce, or having difficulty trusting people. It's important to remember that every child is different and will react differently to their parents getting divorced.
Divorce is difficult for everyone involved and particularly for children caught in the middle - which is one of the reasons it's important to remember that every child will react differently.
There solution "template" when it comes to helping your child cope with/through divorce, but some tips include being honest with them about what is happening, remaining civil and amicable with your ex-spouse if possible, and putting their well-being first.
If you are concerned about your child's well-being, it might be worth speaking to a professional about how they are coping with the divorce.