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How Much Information Should I Give my Child about the Divorce?

December 19th, 2017 by Marta J. Papa

It is important to think carefully about what you will say and how what you say may affect your children. These guidelines can help you determine just what is appropriate.

Be age-aware. 

In general, younger children need less detail and will do better with a simple explanation, while older kids may need more information. 1

 

Share logistical information. 

It’s important to keep your kids informed when it comes to changes in their living arrangements, school, or activities, but don’t overwhelm them with the details.

Keep it real. 

No matter how much or how little you decide to tell your kids, remember that the information should be truthful above all else. 2

Be prepared. 

Be prepared to answer their questions. Know that something unexpected may come up.

Show empathy.

Don’t get angry or frustrated when discussing your divorce with your children. Even if they may say something that is hurtful to you, remember that they are your child, they may be grieving or angry themselves, and they need you to be their strong, loving, benevolent parent. It is your job to gently guide them through this process and it can be long and difficult.