Parents try hard to protect their children from the pain of divorce, but young people recognize the change in their lives, and they have questions.
It is difficult to know how much information to share with children, so here are some commonly asked questions as well as a few approaches to answering them.
Why are you getting divorced?
The answer to this question may be long and complicated, but your children only need to know that it has nothing to do with them. You can keep it simple and vague. “Your dad and I love you very much, but we do not want to live together anymore.”
Did I do something wrong?
Young people have a way of blaming themselves when bad things happen, leading to feelings of insecurity. Remind your children that they are not at fault for the divorce, and nothing they do will cause you to split from them.
Can I still sleep over at my friend’s house?
While you work to protect your children’s interests and keep their routine as normal as possible, some things are bound to change. If an upcoming event falls on your ex’s weekend for visitation, then this is not your question to answer. You should not make promises, but you can let your children know that you will discuss such matters with their other parent.
Your honesty, love and support will go a long way toward making your children feel at peace with the divorce. The most important thing is that they feel comfortable approaching you with any questions or concerns.