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How to explain divorce to your kids

Divorce is never easy. It gets messy, and there is often hostility and emotional pain as you adapt to a future different than the one you had planned. The situation might be even worse if you have kids to whom you must explain your separation. It is often challenging to communicate a complex topic to them without imparting the stress of the situation, too. Doing so is an important part of divorcing peacefully, though.

According to Colorado Public Radio, divorce rates in the state have recently been at their lowest point in a decade. Divorce is still a common occurrence, though, and you should consider the following tips for talking to kids about divorce if you are in this situation: 

Focus on the positives

It can be easy to focus on divorce as a negative thing, and, of course, it does have many negative aspects. When you are talking to kids, though, it is best to shift your tone and focus instead on the positives of the situation. If your home was filled with tension and conflict, a divorce is a solution to this problem. Explaining this and other positive aspects of the divorce to kids can help them understand it better.

Prepare them for changes

The most important part of the discussion is properly preparing kids for the changes that are to come. It is okay if you do not yet have all the answers, but you should have a general idea of what the future looks like so that you can prepare them and provide reassurance. Your divorce lawyer should be able to provide you with an outline of the settlement you can realistically expect to achieve.

Be clear they are not to blame

It is, unfortunately, quite natural for kids to blame themselves when they learn their parents are separating. This is true for kids as young as five or as old as seventeen. It is imperative that you provide reassurance and tell them clearly that the divorce has nothing to do with them. Indicating otherwise or failing to clarify can plant seeds of guilt in your children's minds that make the process even harder.

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