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What are some tips for telling kids about divorce?

Telling kids about divorce isn’t easy — for the children or the parents. You know it’s going to be one of the most difficult conversations you’ve ever had, but it has to be done. Here are some tips to make the conversation and the aftermath a bit easier:

— Let your children know that the divorce is not because of anything they did. Your children must know that this is not their fault. Children need to know that they haven’t done anything wrong, even if the parents have been fighting over them.

— Tell all of of your kids at the same time. Make sure everyone gets told together. If you tell one of the older kids before the littler ones, they will feel as though they have to keep a secret and not a very good one. Get everyone together and have an open and honest talk about your plans.

— Consider the timing of your talk. You shouldn’t do this on someone’s birthday, the date of final exams or the day of the big game. Instead, choose a long weekend when you can be home to support them.

— Reinforce that you will always be around for your kids. Kids often feel like a divorce means that the kids will see their parents infrequently. Make sure your kids are told you are not abandoning them.

— Don’t tell your children that you still love their other parent. Kids see love through one lens now. Telling them that is simply confusing. Tell them that you don’t love each other anymore, but you and your ex still care about each other. Tell your kids that you still love them and want to support them any way you can.

As you can see, there are a number of ways that you can tell your kids that their parents are getting divorced. It is important to pay attention to the manner with which you convey this sensitive information.

Source: Huffington Post, “10 Things To Keep In Mind When Telling Your Kids About The Divorce,” Carolin Lehmann, July 25, 2016

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