Parents usually know what has led them to divorce. There have been events that have led up to the decision of one parent or both parents leading to the dissolution of the marriage, aka divorce. Some parents may argue in front of their children while others talk quietly about their differences. Other parents might argue sometimes and quietly handle their differences at other times. Nonetheless, children need to be aware that their parents have decided to divorce.

Children are known to take cues on how to react to situations by watching their parents. Therefore, it makes sense that parents should think about how they will tell their children and what exactly they will tell them. Further, parents should consider how they, themselves, react to the decision to divorce in front of their children.
Children need to know that, even though their parents are divorcing, that breakfast will be made in the morning, they’ll receive help on their homework and care for them all the same. Children also need to know that their parents are still going to be there for them.

Parents also need to make clear that the divorce is final. This keeps children from holding onto the false hope that their parents will reunite in marriage and live happily ever after. Parents may need to explain to their children why their parents decided to divorce.

Parents should ask their children what their concerns and worries related to the divorce are. Listen to your children and answer their questions. Reassure your children that you’ll be there to take care of them. You will also need to make sure your children understand that you understand the difficulty of divorce on them.

These were taken for the article Helping Children Understand Divorce.

Paul Nathan
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Marin County California Divorce, Child Support and Custody Lawyer Representing Women Exclusively