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How to talk to children about divorce

Florida parents want only the best for their children, even when faced with the possibility of divorce. To this end, it’s important to know what to say to kids when contemplating divorce to prevent further emotional turmoil from occurring.

Psychology Today suggests taking a mature approach to divorce discussions. While parents may be suffering from pain and heartache about the dissolution of their marriage, they must make every attempt to keep these feelings in check. Both parents should speak to their kids about the divorce and any changes that will occur as a result. If it’s too contentious to have these discussions as a family, parents must make it a point to speak to their children separately.

Additionally, do not try to govern a child’s emotions when talking about a divorce. There are a number of potential reactions that can occur, from relief that an untenable marital situation is finally ending to sadness about the other parent moving away from the family home. There might also be a complex mix of feelings, which is why it’s important to let children experience emotions naturally while also offering love and support along the way.

Parents must also be aware of common mistakes to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible for all involved. Woman’s Day offers a few tips on divorce mistakes to avoid, such as using children as bargaining tools in disputes. Ordering children to be defiant to another parent can damage that relationship, while also causing a great deal of distress. Parents must also refrain from speaking ill of their former spouses in front of kids. A child may interpret this be a slight towards them as well, and this can gravely affect one’s self-esteem.  

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