Divorce is a difficult adjustment for children and parents. Everyone in the family will be dealing with a variety of emotions. Despite their own challenges with the divorce process parents need to understand how divorce affects their children.
What Do Children Need to Know about Divorce?
- It's not their fault
- Their parents will love them forever
- Their parents will continue to take care of them
- Some things will change and some things will stay the same
What Do Children Worry About?
- If they'll have to move or change school
- How family occasions and holidays will be celebrated
- The parent who is leaving
- That they'll have to choose one parent over the other
How Can Parents Help Children During a Divorce?
- Answer their questions. Respond honestly and in an age-appropriate way
- If you don't know the answers tell them that when you find out they'll be the first to know
- Provide a consistent, predictable routine
- Don't say bad things about the other parent
- Assure your children things will work out and they won't always be sad or angry
For children there is a lot of uncertainly about what life will look like after their parents split up. Be confident that you and your children can navigate this transition. Reassure them and show them that they can count on their parents to provide stability and love throughout their lives.