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Talking About Divorce to Your Child: a Practical Guide

Young children usually view issues like divorce from a concrete standpoint, while adults see divorce as the complex issue that it is. As a result, it can be challenging for parents to discuss divorce with their kids.

Here you can learn how to talk to your child of any age about a challenging subject:

Babies and toddlers from 0 to 5 years of age

Babies and toddlers are most dependent on their parents or caregivers throughout their early years. Toddlers may start to understand cause and effect to a limited extent, but they may still struggle to express or comprehend complex issues like divorce.

Infants and young children will require straightforward explanations about divorce. Before youngsters realize that divorce is a decision made by an adult, they’ll probably need to develop a little.

Grade schoolers from 6 to 12 years of age

Children from six to twelve years old start to have a greater grasp of the world around them. Despite thinking and feeling for themselves, they will still be reliant on their parents. 

Around this age, parents may need to start more in-depth conversations with their kids. Children can better digest any changes if you ask them questions or enable them to ask you questions.

Teens from 13 years of age to young adults 

When a child enters their teen years, they will go through a variety of emotions, which are frequently connected to their changing bodies and hormones. Young adults and teenagers will have a thorough awareness of topics like divorce. 

Talking to an adolescent or a young adult about divorce could be more difficult. Your child could lash out and need private time to understand your decision to divorce.

Preparing to talk to your child

Before discussing divorce with their children, it’s often beneficial for parents to be aware of their legal options and create a child custody arrangement (when applicable). Your child can be more prepared for the changes to come if they are aware of what will happen in their lives following your divorce.