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earthsister, Parent
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 141
Experience:  Home Child Care Provider, and mother of 4; two pre-teen boys and twin baby girls.
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when is the best time to tell children (ages 6 and 5) that

Customer Question

when is the best time to tell children (ages 6 and 5) that you are getting a divorce? What is the message you tell them?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  professional_Alison replied 5 years ago.

professional_Alison : Hello there, may I help you? Telling children that you are splitting up is never easy. The most important thing to emphasise is that although mummy and daddy will not be living together anymore ,they still love them very much and will always love them. Make it sound exciting that they will have two homes whether based with the mother or the father make sure te children know they will still see the other parent. If they children ask questions about the divorce try to answer honestly but with age appropriate vocabulary. So if you get a question like don't you love mummy/daddy anymore you say mummy and daddy will always be friends but we just can't live together anymore. There are some great books available on amazon about parents splitting up and divorce for the age of your children. The most important thing is to provide reassurance and love and never bad mouth the other parent as this would cause distress and confusion. I wish you the very best, do come back to me if I can help you further.
Expert:  earthsister replied 5 years ago.
Good morning. I would like to provide my suggestion for when you should tell your children about your divorce. I think that it is a wise decision to tell your children as soon as possible after the decision has been made; even adults have a hard time adjusting to sudden and big changes, which this will definitely be one for your children, and so I suggest that you allow them the proper time to be able to adjust to this huge change by preparing them well in advance. I think that along with much of what the previous professional suggested, it is important that you convey the message to them that the two of you are splitting up because of differences between the two of you, and that the reasons have nothing at all to do with them. It is not uncommon for children this age to question how they may have caused the break-up. Encourage them to ask questions to help them understand; and let them know that all though the two of you have differences that has brought on the divorce, what you do have in common is the love that you have for them, and that you will work together twice as hard, as Mommy and Daddy (let them know that hasn't changed); to help them learn, grow, and be happy. If either of your children begin to show signs of depression; bed wetting, sleeping issues, trouble at school, etc. be sure to consult your child's doctor, or a professional therapist who may be able to provide assistance to your family. I do hope that my answer has been of some help. If you have any comments or need clarification about my answer, please message for "earthsister." Thanks.