When you have a teenage child, explaining divorce is quite simple, and while you may be worried about their response, it is more likely that you will know that they are better equipped to handle it than a 6-year-old.
If you have a 6-year-old child, then explaining that you and your partner are separating is going to be hard. You have to remember that young children do not have the coping skills that many parents wish they had, making explaining complex and upsetting issues challenging.
Don’t worry! You can successfully explain divorce to a younger child, and here, you will be guided through how to do just that.
Keep Messaging Simple
The legal jargon and the technical stuff surrounding your child’s role in your separation is for the divorce and child solicitors firm, such as Grant Stephens Family Law. When it comes to speaking to your children about your divorce from your partner, keep it simple.
Make sure to explain it in a calm way and say something along the lines of ‘Mummy and daddy can’t live together anymore. This is our decision, and it is not your fault in any way. We both love you very much.’
Make Sure They Realise They Are Safe
In the same way that children are emotional, they are also instinctive. Their parents breaking up can make them very scared about what will happen to them, so you need to let them know that they are safe. They may even have concerns that the divorce is their fault, so make sure you take the time to let them know that this is not the case and that you and your former spouse are going to work as hard as you can to keep everything the safe, thereby affirming the child’s safety.
Talk About The Practical Stuff
Now that your child(ren) knows you are separating, you need to talk to them about the practical side. Which parent is moving out? Where are they/you going to live? How often will you see your child?
You can also take this time to draw up a routine with them for when you want to see them. Most parents find this best achieved with the primary carer looking after the children during the week and the other parent having them over the weekend. This, again, can help them to feel safe in the future and will reassure them that you are there for them.
Answer Their Questions
Your children will have questions about what is going to happen. If they are younger, they may ask the same question multiple times and get emotional. Stay calm and answer the question every time. Be honest, but remember, the role here is to help them feel safe, not vent about why you are divorcing, your feelings towards their other parent, or how you may be struggling mentally. This is their space to ask questions and your space to answer them in a way that explains the process and separation better. Don’t muddy the water!
Also, Read: Do Alec and Kaleb Get Paid for Commercials?