Keep these points in mind when discussing divorce with small kids


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Keep these points in mind when discussing divorce with small kids

Small children are sensitive and impressionable, so it makes sense if you’re worried about the best way to talk to them about divorce. So far, they’ve grown up seeing mommy and daddy as an integral unit that should endure forever.

Even though your divorce may come as a surprise, your children will be able to wrap their heads around the idea in a healthy way if you break the news appropriately. What follows are a few things to keep in mind to help you talk about divorce with a small child aged five to eight.

Select the right time carefully

Essentially, you’ll want to give your child notice before you and your spouse will be moving out. The day that you’re moving out is not the day to tell your child about your plans. You’ll want to provide a couple weeks of notice and continue reminding your child of the change in living arrangements before either you or your spouse move away. You’ll also want to tell your child on a day when you’ll be around for several hours. Perhaps tell your child early in the evening, so he or she has time to ask you questions about what’s going to happen, and so he or she feels the presence of your support after you break the news.

Give the news with your spouse present

Let your child know about the divorce with the other spouse present. This will help your child feel like everyone is on the same page and it will provide a sense of security to know that the decision was mutual. It will also avoid confusion and preserve your child’s natural sense of trust for both of his or her parents.

Keep things simple and easy

When you do speak with your child, keep your explanations as simple as possible. Something like, “You know that mommy and daddy haven’t been getting along for a while. We’ve been doing some thinking and we’ve decided it would be better if we don’t live in the same home anymore. So, daddy is going to get an apartment and you’ll be living with him for half the time.”

Make sure your child knows it’s not his or her fault

It’s vital that your child knows that the break up is not his or her fault. Ensure your child that this was an adult decision and it doesn’t have anything to do with him or her. Assure your child that mommy and daddy will always love and be there for him or her.

Try to divorce as peacefully as possible

Another way you can support your child is to break up with your spouse in a peaceful fashion. By using mediation and out-of-court settlement strategies, Colorado parents can separate in a speedy, less-stressful and cost-effective fashion.