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3 tips for talking to kids about divorce

It’s no secret that divorce can be an emotionally challenging time. Between filing paperwork and separating possessions, it can be easy to lose sight of the most important thing. Talking to your children about divorce is not a conversation that any parent wants to have, but it’s a necessary one.

Life isn’t only going to be different for you, but it will be different for them as well. Divorce can be emotionally devastating for children if handled improperly. However, good communication between parent and child and a gentle approach can help alleviate some of the negative effects of a divorce.

Hear them out

Your kids are going to feel a whirlwind of emotions after learning of your impending divorce. It’s important to let them express these feelings without thinking the separation is their fault. Listen to what they have to say and try to reassure them that everything will be fine.

It’s important to both listen to their concerns and reply with as much of the truth as you can. You want them to be able to rely on you and know that they can trust you. Listening and doing your best to both understand and be respectful of their emotions is very important in such a difficult time for both of you.

Stick to a routine

In a period of transition, it’s important to maintain as much stability as possible. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by keeping the kids’ schedules consistent. This may include everything from a set bedtime to consistent afterschool activities. The goal here is to acknowledge the change while not letting it affect their well-being.

You don’t want to make sweeping changes if you don’t have to and trying to keep their lives on the same track as before the divorce can make the transition much easier for them.

Keep them out of it

Keeping the children out of any conflict with your soon-to-be ex-spouse is both extremely important and the easiest tip to break. If you’re involved in a messy divorce, it may be extremely challenging to not allow your frustration to affect your children, but you don’t want them to have to take sides.

Using your children for your own purposes will only make this time more difficult for them. Doing everything in your power to keep them away from any arguments you may have and lessen their involvement with the separation will be beneficial for them in the long-run.

There is no easy way to talk to your children about divorce but preparing yourself for the conversation and setting aside time to help them through it will help a difficult situation run a little more smoothly.

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