Children and Divorce: How To Answer Their Three BIG Questions

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Telling your children about your decision to divorce is never easy but with a little thought to when, where & what you are going to say will help lessen the impact for them.

I have launched a new series of free Divorce videos called Divorce Step by Step.  to help.

I think it’s really important that you remember that divorce is a process NOT an event.

I have written a series of Divorce Conversational Cards  that can be used to help you through the challenging & stressful time of divorce. They feature 48 questions to help you start the difficult conversations about the changes that your family is facing when they are going through a divorce.

These simple cards help you & your children explore, express & prepare for the changes & challenges ahead.

The range includes:

Talking To Children About Divorce

20 Questions Children Always Ask About Divorce

Divorce – The Legal Questions



Children and Divorce: How To Answer Their Three BIG Questions

Children tend to ask the same kinds of tough, heart wrenching questions about divorce. The good news is that you don’t have to have all the answers. But it does help to prepare for those questions and be ready to listen and respond in a way that will help your kids feel loved.

When your children ask tough questions, they aren’t looking for complicated answers. Initially they are looking for affirmation, not information. This means they want to be assured that you love them no matter what. They want to know that you recognise and understand their turbulent and scary feelings.

Here are some tips on three of the most common questions.


  1. Why? From “why did you stop loving each other” to “why are you doing this,” children want to know the big-picture reason behind your break up. The fear behind this question is that if you, as Mum and Dad, can stop loving each other, perhaps you might both stop loving them too. So you’ll need to assure your child that love between parents is very different from a parent’s love for their child and of course both Mummy and Daddy love them and ALWAYS will. Your love for them is permanent and will never change. In most cases, it’s not appropriate to get into the details of why you’re divorcing. Instead, reassure your child that you are still a family, just a different kind of family.


  1. Is this my fault? Young children, especially, are egocentric , so they can’t help wondering if they are somehow at fault for your break up. Again, the most important thing here is to assure your child that your love for them is unconditional. They need to know your complicated relationship has nothing to do with them — they are NOT the cause of the divorce. They will always be loved. That will never change.


  1. Where will I live? Make sure you have agreed on a parenting plan — even a temporary one — before you break the news to your children. Tell them where they will be, when, and for how long. Let them know that they can express their feelings about these arrangements to you any time they need to. And always speak respectfully about your ex in your answers — don’t involve your children in whatever conflicts you’re having with your spouse. ( I know easier said than done, but do take the long term view and put your children’s best interest at the heart of all you do and say at this stressful time.)

With a little planning you can lessen the shock for your children & help them adjust to the changes.





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