As if getting divorced isn't difficult enough, add kids into the mix and you've got a whole extra layer of complications. What should you say to them? What should you avoid saying? How can you help them through it?
According to our survey, 51% of YourTango Experts agree that when it comes to sharing information with your kids about your divorce, customization is key. That is, you should share any details that the kids can developmentally understand and integrate — no more and no less. Here are some more tips from the experts about how to talk to your kids about your divorce:
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1. Be honest. Be as honest as you can in an age-appropriate way. Most parents hide what is happening and this causes the child undue stress. Although it will hurt to tell them, you need to tell them as soon as possible, in a factual way. Give them the facts, a cuddle and let them know everything will be okay. —Sarah Newton
2. Assure them it will be okay. Most children fear the worst when they hear the news and worry about it constantly, not telling the parent for fear of causing more upset. Take their worries on, ask them what they are scared of, what worries them about the future with their parents apart and do all you can to alleviate and reassure them. —Sarah Newton
3. Let them know it is not their fault. Most children blame themelsves in some way for what has happened. For example, they may think that this may not be happening had they been well behaved. Don't tell them the ins and outs of the divorce, but do make sure you tell them that in no way this is their fault and you both still love them very much. —Sarah Newton
4. Come to agreements with your ex. Talk to your ex about your children and come to agreements together about thing you will both do to make sure your children are not scared by the process, however amicable or unpleasant the divorce may be. For example, decide that you will never put each other down in front of your children. Even though you are not together, you must show a united front. —Sarah Newton
Want to learn more? Check out Divorce Survival Guide!
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