Explaining divorce to children without delay

Explaining divorce to children must be done without delay. As soon as the decision to divorce has been made, you need to sit down and talk to the children. Of course this an ackward moment and causes feelings of anxiety. This should have never be a reason for delay. Delay will only increase your anxiety as parents and will effect the children. The way you decide to tell the children will however set the tone for how the children will deal with the divorce. Best way of talking with the children is with both parents present, as a family.

What you need to tell

  • Be clear that they are not responsible for the divorce.
  • Be clear that you both love them even if one parent will start living somewhere else.
  • If the children want to know why you want to divorce, give them an answer that fits their age-group.
  • Be clear about the living arrangements and how often they will see each parent. Explain the changes to be expected due to the divorce.
  • Assure them that you are always there for them, to answer any questions they may have and that they can come to you with their worries and concerns now and in the future.

Valuable reading is the excellent guidebook: How do I tell the kids about the divorce?

After telling your Children about the divorce

  • Never stop reassuring the children and showing them that you love them. Your children come first. Take away as much as you can their fear and sadness.
  • Keep the changes to a minimum, both parents should spend enough time with the children while keeping the daily routine they are used to.
  • Their friends and daily participation to sports and school activities are very important. Encourage your children in these relationships. Keep the adult concerns away from the children.

During explaining divorce to children and during the divorce

  • Keep your emotions in check and do not allow them to get in the way of the relationship with the children.
  • Your sadnesss and grief should not stand in the way of spending as much time as possible with the children. Keep a high level of contact with them.
  • Whatever you may feel about the other parent, do not allow to let the children suffer because of that. Keep your possible resentment towards your spouse away from the children.
  • When the children want to talk about the divorce, answer their questions and let them express their feelings freely. It may be uncomfortable for you, but it is also difficult for them.
Are you a Child Friendly Divorced Parent? Do the
Self Assessment


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