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Talking Divorce with Children - Addressing Your Friend’s Divorce with Your Own Kids
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Talking Divorce with Children - Addressing Your Friend’s Divorce with Your Own Kids

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If your child has a friend whose parents are divorcing, sometimes it can create fear within your child. Take some time to explain divorce to your child.

If your child has a friend whose parents are divorcing, sometimes it can create fear within your child. Take some time to explain divorce to your child.

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  • 1. Talking Divorce with Children Addressing Your Friend’s Divorce with Your Own Kids By Marina Sbrochi on Support in a Split, sponsored by ARAG Divorce can cause anxiety and fear in most anyone affected by it. Of course, children are usually hyper-sensitive when it comes to this topic. If your child has a friend whose parents are divorcing, sometimes it can create fear within your child. This is completely normal as most likely this is an unfamiliar situation. Communication is key to keeping your family harmonious. Take some time to talk to your child about it. Make the talk age-appropriate. What you might say to a teenager is definitely different than what you might say to a kindergartner. It’s always good to find out what your child knows first. Ask him what he has heard and what he thinks divorce means. Take time to really listen and see if you hear any buzz words or notice any unrealistic fears. After you have time to talk about what your child knows, take the time to explain divorce to your child. 1. First, clear up the explanation of divorce for your child. Reinforce that it is never the child's fault. Some children might think they are to blame and you want to be sure to dispel that rumor right away. For smaller children: Keep it simple and keep it brief. You don’t want to confuse them with too many details. For older children: While you can explain divorce a bit better to older children, you want to be careful that you don’t talk too much and begin to gossip. Read more about how divorce looks from the child’s point of view. 2. Reassure your children that their friend will be okay. Explain to them that their friend’s parents are going through a tough time and acknowledge that it can be scary for kids. Reassure your children that your relationship is stable (if it in fact is) and that it won’t happen in your house. For smaller children: They have a tendency to project what happens to others onto themselves. It’s vital that you explain that just because a friend’s parents are getting divorced, it doesn’t mean they should worry about it happening to their family. For older children: Talk to them about their feelings. Ask them how they think their friend feels. Reassure them that while this is a rough situation for their friend, many children go through divorce and they come through it just fine. Work with your children to think of some ways they can cheer up their friend. Read more about how to talk with children about divorce. 3. Refocus: Take your childrens’ minds off divorce and plan something fun together as a family. Do something that all of you can enjoy. Go back to the basics and reinvigorate your family. Do things like making it a priority to eat meals together and tell them you love them. You want to do things to reinforce security for them. Talking Divorce with Children - Addressing Your Friend’s Divorce with Your Own Kids (01.08) 1