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How to discuss divorce with children of any age

On Behalf of | Mar 17, 2016 | Divorce |

Parents who decide to end their marriage have never reached that decision lightly. They are aware that the choice to part ways will have an impact on their kids, and they often dread having to have the “divorce talk” with their children. The following information is provided in the hopes of helping Florida parents know how to approach the topic with their kids, regardless of their age.

For kids who are 2 years old or younger, there is no need to discuss the matter at all. They do not have the ability to comprehend the subject, so parents can simply move forward with the divorce and address any questions that may come as their kids grow older. For preschool children, the conversation should be kept brief, on point and calm. Kids this age should be reassured that they will always be loved and cared for by both parents, and that many things they have come to depend on will remain the same.

Kids who are in the early elementary years will likely have questions about the decision to divorce, and parents should be prepared to give answers that are age-appropriate and reassuring. It is important to emphasize that the decision to divorce was an adult matter and that it has nothing to do with the child or children. At this age, it may take a series of conversations before kids accept the change in their family’s structure and begin to adapt.

Older children and teens can have a wide range of reactions to the news that their parents are seeking a divorce. Their responses may be emotionally charged or may seem to lack any emotion at all. It is important for parents to remind them that they will always be loved, and that the divorce has nothing to do with them. This may seem obvious, but even older kids can benefit from being reminded of these basic facts.

Florida parents can make the “divorce talk” a far less stressful event by taking the time to do a bit of planning. Understanding how kids will react at varying ages and stages of development can give parents the ability to tailor the discussion to suit the needs of their own children. This can make it easier for all involved, and help kids move forward with the love and support that they need to thrive.

Source: The Huffington Post, ““Mommy & Daddy are Getting a Divorce…” AN AGE-BASED GUIDE ON HOW TO TELL YOUR CHILDREN“, Ashley Tate Cooper, March 9, 2016