Talking to Children About Divorce

Should we tell our preschooler we're separating?

Q – “My husband and I are separating. Is it okay to hide our plans from our preschooler until we are ready to move, or should we let her know what’s going on?” A – If you already have a plan in place for separating, you need to bite the bullet and have a talk…

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Don’t my kids have the right to know the truth?

Sometimes due to our own hurt and pain, you or the other parent may feel strongly that children need to hear the truth. In some families, one parent may be very committed to assigning blame for the divorce. Holding one parent exclusively responsible for the divorce often creates a confusing and difficult situation for children.…

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My kids keep asking “why?” What should I tell them?

Understand that it will take time for your children to come to grips with the idea that the family is changing. Accepting divorce is a process.  Gradually different questions, issues and thoughts about the divorce will come up for your children and as they do, it’s only natural for them to question why.  Asking “why?”…

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What else do my kids need to hear?

“Besides telling them we are getting a divorce what else do my kids need to hear?” Key messages your kids need to hear from Mom and Dad. Use the examples below as a guide to help you come up with what to say to kids about why you are getting a divorce. Kids will also…

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Should we tell the children together?

Ideally, it’s best if both parents can talk with children together. However, this is only recommended if you and the other parent are able to responsibly manage both your feelings and your opinions about the divorce. In some divorce situations, parents may not agree about why things didn’t work out or be in different stages…

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First conversation about divorce: What should you say to your children?

  For initial first conversations, don’t overwhelm your children with information; keep the discussion straightforward and age-appropriate. Focus on addressing the fact that you are separating or getting a divorce and how life will change for now.  Here are some guidelines for you to consider regarding your first conversation with children. Think through how you…

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