While you had a hard enough time accepting your marriage’s end, you must now tell your children. What should you expect from them?
The Child Mind Institute explores common emotional reactions children have to divorce. Prepare yourself and your children for the emotional road ahead.
Your children may feel they caused your divorce. This happens because young children often struggle to understand others’ perspectives and step outside their point of view. Even if your child does not blame her or himself, express that she or he had nothing to do with ending your marriage.
Your son or daughter may act out in the days ahead. Behavior issues surrounding divorce could connect to anxiety or exploring new boundaries. To combat this, look for ways to build a structured environment for your child, one with clear behavior expectations that apply to both households.
Children may grow worried about their new living arrangement and routines when they learn about their parents’ divorce. This could make them anxious and ill at ease. A calendar showing which household a child stays in each day could help put your child’s mind at rest, and helping them create new routines could help, too.
Your daughter or son could seem needier and want more of your attention once you tell them about the divorce. For instance, you may need to help more with tasks your child once handled alone.
Finding out about their parents divorcing affects kids in different ways. When you know what to expect and how to respond, you help your child adjust to post-divorce life.