As a parent, how can you explain divorce to your children?
Granting that you and your spouse are going to divorce and there are children involved, how can you explain this experience to them?
This question is also applicable if they ask about it because their friends parents are undergoing it as well.
You always want to be honest with children, no matter how bad the truth is. Only tell them what they need to know - don't go into details. Above all, never speak ill of your ex. It will backfire, as the kids become defensive of their other parent.
Children want to know how a divorce will impact them. Some of their questions would never occur to us, so it's important to give them a safe place to ask. Listen to their concerns, and repeat back what they tell you so they feel heard.
The big temptation with kids is to talk them out of their feelings. It is so hard to see them hurt, we just want to take away their pain. But what they need is a parent who will contain their feelings. We do this by listening, repeating back what they say, and letting them know we understand. That way they aren't alone in their pain.
You might find my blog helpful. It is linked at my profile. I've written some posts about divorce and children.
Peace to you.
Be honest to your children. Tell them what the real score of the story to let them understand why there is need to divorce. Some children if explained well with the situation will understand and accept the fact though it will hurt them.
This is a sad situation and one I have had to deal with myself. My then husband and I sat down together and told our 7 year old that we would no longer be living together, but that we love her very much, and would continue to be her Mom and Dad. That was 15 years ago... My daughter has never asked any questions. (truth be told, her dad chose to be with someone else and only recently left her also). My daughter has a close relationship with both myself and her dad, and I am very grateful for that. He has been a good father, and in spite of geographical distance has maintained constant weekly contact, and paid 1/2 her college tuition which was above our expectations. As for children who ask why others are divorcing, that will depend on their age. Rarely can anyone outside of a marriage understand the turmoil, heartache and depth of pain that goes into making such a decision. I advocate compassion over judgement. It is not our role to understand, but if we are friends with the family and the friendship is warranted (abuse or other detrimental behaviour is not involved), then we can continue to be there. Perhaps those experiencing the divorce will share the 'whys' and heartache in time.
Great question. Tell them before it happens. My brothers told me and my sis after my parents split. We didn't understand it then, and it made me look at men different for a long time.
If both parents can come together at least for this talk, then do it and let the kids ask questions. Just be honest with them, no matter what, pray about it, and pray some more. Just be ready to really be there for kids, especially with school, and them seeing their friends with 2 parents.
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