Helping You Resolve Difficult Issues In Family Law

How to talk to children about divorce: A guide by age

On Behalf of | Mar 17, 2016 | Uncategorized

No Arizona parent wants to sit down with their child and tell them that their entire world is about to change. Parents should understand that kids will process the news of a divorce in different ways, depending on their age and level of emotional maturity. Tailoring the conversation to the age of a child is essential to helping them to adapt to the changes to come.

Very young children do not have the ability to process information about divorce, which means that parents of toddlers can avoid the discussion altogether and simply be prepared to answer questions that might arise as the kids grow older. For parents of preschoolers, it is important to keep the discussion calm, positive and to-the-point. Small children should be reassured that they will remain close to both parents and that many things about their daily lives will stay the same.

Children in elementary school will often have questions about the decision to divorce, and parents must be prepared to answer in a manner that is age appropriate. They may ask for more information about why their parents no longer want to be together and could be concerned that they are to blame. It is important to reassure them that the decision to divorce is one that is made by adults, and has nothing to do with them or anything that they have done or not done.

Kids who have entered the middle school or high school years will often have an emotional reaction to the news that their parents are planning to divorce. Parents must be ready to address their emotions, which can range from anger to sadness to confusion. Their reaction can also change from one day to the next, and parents should be willing to take the time to talk to them about the decision and the changes to come, and to listen to their concerns.

When Arizona parents are able to approach the “divorce talk” in a manner that is in line with their child’s emotional maturity, the end result can be better for all involved. This is never an easy conversation to have, but it is one that is required in order to give kids the information they need to move forward. Divorce can be a tough topic, but most kids will move past this phase in their life and adapt as necessary.

Source: The Huffington Post, ““Mommy & Daddy are Getting a Divorce…” AN AGE-BASED GUIDE ON HOW TO TELL YOUR CHILDREN“, Ashley Tate Cooper, March 9, 2016