Explaining divorce to children can be difficult. You want to be honest and answer their questions, but you also don’t want to burden them with unnecessary information. Plus, a lot of the things they want to know about may not be issues that are even on your radar.
For instance, a child may be very concerned about where they’re going to live. You do care about finding a new living situation, but you’re not worried. You’re sure you can buy or rent a new home after the split. You are more interested in the pressing topics of getting that divorce finalized and moving on with your life. The child, though, feels very insecure until they know where they’re going to live and who they’re going to be with.
Meeting your children where they are and answering their questions
To understand how to approach this complex topic with kids, let’s consider five things that they tend to ask most often:
- Is the divorce my fault? Did I do something to cause this?
- Do you still love me? Is that ever going to change, as it did with Mom or Dad?
- What should I tell my friends or the other people in my class at school?
- Are you going to get back together in the future or get married again?
- Where am I going to live and go to school? Will I still get to see my friends and neighbors?
By no means are these all of the questions kids have, but the key is to always focus on supporting them and showing them that you love them. You also want to consider what legal steps you can take to create the ideal post-divorce situation for them, including an effective parenting plan and custody agreement.