How to talk about divorce with a child

How to Talk about Divorce with a Child

Parents in Michigan who are preparing for a divorce know that separation is not easy on children. Children are likely to have questions about the divorce, and they may be resistant to splitting their time between two households. Parents should encourage their kids to express themselves and be patient as their kids adapt to a new way of living.
 

Parents should ideally make a joint announcement to their children about the divorce. Parents should not blame each other for the divorce or say that one parent is the one who wanted to separate. It is in the children’s best interest for parents to act like respectable authority figures, which includes maintaining boundaries and not involving children in the parents’ disputes. If possible, parents should implement some of the same rules at both houses so that their kids feel a sense of normalcy, such as having their kids go to bed at the same time every night.

Though parents should resist the urge to say negative things about the other parent to their children, they should also avoid lying. It is possible to acknowledge the difficulty of the situation without going into details. Sugarcoating things or acting like everything is fine may be invalidating for a child who is struggling to adapt.

Parents should make an effort to give their kids extra affection during this difficult time. This means spending quality time together, telling the kids that they love them, and hugging their kids. If a child is too young to express themself verbally, it could be good to encourage the kid to show their creative side by painting or drawing his feelings. Most importantly, parents should exclude their kids from all adult talk relating to the divorce, such as child custody disputes, which should be discussed alone or with a family law attorney.

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