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How to talk to kids about divorce

While ending a marriage is often an emotional and difficult time for the adults involved, a divorce can have an even deeper impact on a couple's children. However, there are certain tactics parents can use that will help their children cope with the stress of a divorce.

For starters, the Huffington Post recommends that a couple not break the news to their children until they are positive that the divorce is going forward. When the kids are informed about what is going on, great care should be taken to emphasize that they are not the reason for the divorce and did not cause it to happen.

In addition, if possible, parents should remain on the same page and give their children consistent messages. If one parent tells them that things will be one way and the other parent tells them something elese, the children may be confused and suffer emotionally. If the divorce is particularly contentious, it may be hard for the parents to present a united front. At the very least, care should be taken to not fight in front of the children or speak negatively about one another in their presence.

Once the news has been broken, it is likely that the children will have many questions about what their lives are going to be like post-divorce. According to KidsHealth.org, parents should be prepared to answer logistical questions about living arrangements and schooling. Giving kids age-appropriate and honest answers to the greatest extent possible will help them feel secure. Finally, letting children know that any feelings of sadness or anger they are experiencing are valid and that both of their parents will continue to be there for them will help them to manage their emotions and adjust to their new circumstances.

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