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Divorce. What should I tell my child now?

Divorce is an intense and emotionally charged event for all involved, especially when there are children in the middle.

Effective communication with your child about divorce can significantly impact their psychosomatic well-being and help them navigate the changes that are coming. In this article, we will examine the key aspects of what to say to your child during this sensitive period.

Choose the Right Time and Place

First and foremost, ensure that the child is rested and in a good mood. When discussing the issue of divorce with your child, it is crucial to choose an appropriate time and place. Find a quiet and comfortable space where you can talk without interruptions. Make sure that both parents are present to provide a unified front and a sense of stability.

Be Honest and Age-Appropriate

When explaining the situation to your child, be honest without disclosing unnecessary details. Tailor the information to their age, using language and concepts they can understand. Assure them that the divorce is not their fault and that both parents still love them.

Maintain Consistency and Routine

Children thrive on routine, and divorce can disrupt their sense of stability. Highlight which specific aspects of their life will remain stable, such as school, extracurricular activities, and time spent with friends. Develop a clear custody and visitation plan to provide a sense of predictability that helps children feel secure in unstable situations.

Be Open to Their Questions

Encourage your child to ask questions and express their feelings. Reassure them that it’s okay to feel a range of emotions, including sadness, anger, and confusion. Create an open space where they feel comfortable sharing their thoughts without fear of judgment.

Avoid Blame and Negative Expressions

Refrain from assigning blame to either parent or speaking negatively about the other. Have a discussion with your ex-spouse in a friendly and family-oriented manner, ensuring that neither side will blame the other in front of the child. Any questions from the child to third parties should be answered with the understanding that only the parents are appropriate to respond. Children often internalize conflicts, and hearing negative comments can create unnecessary emotional burdens. Focus on the positive and express your commitment to cooperation for the child’s well-being.

Assure Unconditional Love

Make it clear that divorce does not diminish the love both parents have for the child. Reassure the child that your love and support are unwavering and emphasize your commitment to being involved in their life.

Seek Help from a Mental Health Professional

Recognize the importance of professional support during this challenging period, as each divorce case is highly unique, as is each child. Encourage your child to speak with a therapist or counseling psychologist specializing in working with children of divorced parents. This can provide them with a safe environment to process their emotions and receive guidance.

Remember that seeking professional help can be crucial in ensuring your child’s psychosomatic health during this transitional period.

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