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How to Tell Kids About Divorce
My book, Two Adventures with Mom and Dad, is FREE for Kindle download today and tomorrow, October 28-29, 2022!
To my subscribers and followers, if you missed this deal, have no fear. I have a 25% discount on print books on my website, (use promo code PURPOSE2022).
Less Than 15 Minutes
I heard the other day that approximately 75% of divorcing parents talk to their children about their divorce for less than 15 minutes total.
That means all of a sudden, children are living in separate homes, and have no idea what happened.
That is insane!
Talking to Your Children
Unless they are very young babies (in which case, you should HOLD OFF on divorce!), your children deserve to know the truth in a loving manner. Read this post: Tough Out the Baby Years.
You are Still Family. You are Still Mom and Dad
If at all possible, talk to your children together.
You will want to present as a team. (You ARE a team! Picture this: in a few years, they will be walking down the aisle, and you two will still be on the same side – the bride or the groom’s).
Prior to discussing with your children, have a strategy on what you will say.
Do Not Blame Each Other.
Never badmouth your ex. Your child is 1/2 your ex. Telling them your ex is bad is telling them 1/2 of them is bad. Never badmouth your ex!
Also, your child needs to know they are loved by both of you, and more important, that they can love both of you without feeling guilty about it.
This is Not Their Fault
Speaking of blame, always reassure them together that this is not their fault. Adult decisions are not made by children, and nothing the child did caused it.
Talk About What Children Care About
Children care about who picks them up from school. What they will eat for lunch and who will pack their lunch. Who will ride bikes with them. And who will help them with homework. Children also care about who will be at their games, and cheering them on!
Do Not Talk About What Children Don’t Care About
Children do not care about who cheated. Or who failed. Whose fault it was. Child support. Alimony. Property Division.
These are adult conversations. (with lawyers!)
There will be many changes. Help them adjust but giving them details. What will their room look like? How long is the ride to school? What if they miss Mom or Dad when they’re with the other parent.
Reassure them that you will still be one family, even if you will live in separate places.
Good Books for Children
I wrote a children’s book to help explain divorce to young children. It’s called Two Adventures with Mom and Dad and you can find it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers.
In addition, here is a list of the best children’s books about divorce.