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Explaining divorce to children

Divorce is often a challenging and confusing time for families in Chesterfield. Even though it is the parents who are separating, children tend to have trouble understanding the situation. With tensions and emotions running at an all-time high, parents may become so wrapped up in themselves that they fail to recognize that they owe their kids more than just a simple explanation for what is going on. If you are in the process of splitting one household into two, here are some things you should take into consideration about your children's feelings and divorce.

Recognize and understand their feelings

Your children may feel sad, angry and stressed out about the changes taking place in their lives. Acknowledge their feelings and encourage them to share them with you. Regardless of their ages, you should never act dismissive about their feelings, or you might risk alienating them. Do not forget to inform your kids that you and their other parent still love them and that your relationship with them is not going to change, even though you may be living in two different households.

Keep the messy details to yourself

You can be open with your children about the situation, but spare them the messy and personal details that have led to your separation. Assess your children's individual maturity levels so you can determine the best way to say what you need to say in a calm, peaceful and soothing manner.

Do not leave them in the dark

Your kids will likely have questions about what is to come. You should try to remember that they thrive best when there is predictability. Informing them about custody and parenting agreements, living arrangements and other details that are pertinent to their daily lives can help to minimize the emotional changes they may experience.

Do not allow your kids to blame themselves

Many kids tend to blame themselves when their parents are unable to work things out. Do your best to remove this misconception from their minds. Encourage them to ask questions so you can address their concerns and alleviate their fears and feelings of guilt. Make it clear to them that they are not responsible for what happens between mommy and daddy. Remain patient with your children. Some days they may appear to be fine with the situation, other days they may not. No matter how they respond to the news in the short- and long-term, you should continue to be supportive towards them and offer reassurance as needed.

Stay honest about your divorce situation with your children and considerate about their feelings. Pay attention to their behavior so you can spot any difficulties they may have as soon as possible. To help make the adjustment easier for you and your kids, you should consider speaking to an attorney for guidance.

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16141 Swingley Ridge Rd., Suite 105
Chesterfield, MO 63017-1778

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