Explaining Divorce to Children

Essay by brandiwine2409College, UndergraduateA+, April 2004

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A young child sits on his bed with tears rolling down his face. His mother and father stare at him with a distraught look on their face. The little boy asks, "If parents stop being married, can they decide not to be mommy or daddy anymore?" His mother leans over and gives the little boy a hug and replies, "Your daddy and I just can't live together anymore, we still love you and we will always be your mommy and daddy." This question, along with many others, is very common for young children when being told that their parents are getting a divorce. How should you response to such questions?

Children are aware of the emotional climate in their homes. Nothing is more distressing to youngsters than a change they do not understand. Because parents think that children are too young to understand divorce, many do not speak with their children .

Not telling children from the beginning increases the chances that they might be told by the wrong person in the wrong way. Its best for the explanation to come from both parents, as difficult as it may be.

One of the hardest things to deal with during a divorce is the kids. Children will often blame themselves when a break-up occurs. When a parent is leaving the household it becomes even a more disaster for them, and you must strive to make it easier. Regardless of their age, you should make huge efforts to discuss what is going on with your kids.

Explaining the details of your failed relationship is not easy and not necessary. Instead, focus on being straight forward with them and let them know what is happening as far as the future will go. It is better to let them know what's going...