Getting a Divorce? Be Prepared for Your Kids to Ask These Questions

Getting a Divorce? Be Prepared for Your Kids to Ask These Questions

When parents get divorced, their kids understandably have a lot of questions. The depth and complexity of these questions will certainly vary depending on the age of the children, since younger kids will have a much more limited knowledge of divorce, but no matter their age a divorce can be incredibly traumatic for any kids to handle and it is important that you do whatever you can to try to help them prepare for and adjust to the major changes occurring in your family.

Before breaking the news of an impending divorce to your kids, you should be prepared to handle some of the more common questions they will likely ask. Below we’ve detailed some of the possible questions you should be ready to answer.

  • “Why?” — By far the most common theme of questions asked by kids to their divorcing parents revolves around “Why?” Why is this happening? Why don’t you love each other anymore? Why can’t you fix it? Be as honest as you can with your kids and do not mislead them or give them false hope.
  • “Is it my fault?” — Children often blame themselves for their parents’ divorce. They may fixate on one or more situations where it seemed like you were arguing over them and make the leap that your marital strife is caused by them. It is essential that you assure them that the divorce is in no way their fault, and do your best to deflect fault from anyone. Let them know it’s not a matter of fault, but of necessary change.
  • “Do you still love me?” — When the love between a mother and father is coming to an end in a divorce, it is easy to see why a young child may fear that their parents will stop loving them as well. Assure them that both of their parents do and will always continue to love them, no matter what.
  • “Where will I live?” — Your kids will have a lot of questions about their day-to-day lives, not the least of which will be about living arrangements. You should try to agree upon a parenting plan before breaking the news of your divorce to your kids so you can give them concrete answers about the living arrangements. Divorce stirs up feeling of fear and uncertainty in kids, so giving them a clear plan of action can help.
  • “Will you still be my parents?” — An end to a marriage for you can feel like an end to the parent-child relationship for your kids. As with the question of love, assure your kids that both spouses will always be a parent to them.
  • “Will you get back together?” — Kids are eternal optimists who will want to believe that there is a chance things could go back to normal, and it can be easy to try to give them hope in order to soften the blow of the divorce. Once again, be honest with your kids and let them know that your divorce will be a permanent thing. It may be more difficult for them now, but lying to them can be worse in the long run.

This is just a small sampling of the types of questions your kids might ask you about your divorce. The most important thing you can do is be honest with them and assure them of your love and their continued security. For more information regarding kids and divorce, please contact New Beginnings Family Law.

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