Even with the decline in divorce rates, there were still approximately 630,000 divorces in 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many of these divorces involve young children.
Divorce is an adult issue. Parents need to approach children together and reinforce that the children are not to blame.
Make a plan
The couple should determine the right time to broach the subject. Avoid choosing a special time, such as a holiday or family celebration. The next step is to decide what information to present. While the children need to know why the split is happening, not all the details are necessary. The parents should plan answers to potential queries. For the children, this is a confusing time. Parents need to prepare for tough questions to ensure a solid conversation.
Maintain a united front
While every situation is different, the adults involved should address the children together if possible. Once in front of the kids, it is vital to keep feelings in check and ensure that blame does not enter the conversation. Children need cool and collected parents when discussing such a life-changing situation.
Speak with reassurance
Most crucially, parents should emphasize the love they have for their children. Throughout the conversation, the adults should reinforce that the children have no part or blame in the divorce decision. Although things will change, kids need reminders that many things will not. They will still have normal days with school, activities and time with friends.
Discussing divorce with children is a necessary but difficult topic. During the conversation, parents need to ensure that children feel safe, loved and valued.