Going through a divorce is a challenging time in and of itself, let alone going through a divorce with children. While the divorce does challenge the parents, it may challenge the children even more. Many divorced parents struggle with answering the questions their children have about divorce. That is through no fault of their own, kids ask big questions about broad topics – how can you answer everything? This week we’re here to answer some of the most common questions that children ask about divorce. Read on to learn the best way to answer your child’s biggest questions.
Was It My Fault?
Start the answer to this question with a vehement “no.” Young children especially have a tendency to equate bad things happening with their own misbehavior. They may assume a divorce is their fault due to a small infraction such as them not cleaning their room. Reassure your children as many times as possible that this is not their fault in any way, shape, or form. A good way to reinforce this is by explaining that the discord is tied directly to you and your ex.
Why Did You Get A Divorce?
Obviously, the answer to this will vary from couple to couple. However, with this question, what matters is how you answer. This is an answer that you and your ex-spouse need to answer together, with a pre-planned answer. Avoid blaming one another at all cost. Even if the cause was something painful for one or both of you, frame it in a palatable way for children. For example, if infidelity was an issue, try framing it as “spouse #1 made a mistake and spouse #2 needs time to forgive and forget.”
Do You Still Love Each Other?
A lot of kids ask this question because they feel as though their family is falling apart. It is important to emphasize to your child that those bonds have not been dissolved. A lack of marriage does not mean a lack of family. Tell them that you and your ex-spouse love one another in a different way now.
Will You Get Back Together?
This answer is difficult because you cannot give your child false hope, nor do you want to crush their sense of family. The best way to answer this is be gentle, but hold you line. For example, something such as “No, daddy/mommy and I still care about each other, but we don’t love each other in the way that way anymore.” Make sure to warn your ex-spouse when you get asked this question. It is pretty typical for a child to ask both parents this question to try and manipulate the situation.
Come Back Next Week
For more tips on how to answer your children’s questions about divorce.