How do I tell my child that we divorce?

What your child knows - and what it needs to know

Little children may never have The word ""divorce"" is one that can and does not really begin with ""separation"" - because you often only understand this as a normal (and therefore short) farewell. Two-year-olds are unlikely to understand the difference as long as both parents remain accessible, but a child in kindergarten can be very worried about how things might change, especially when it comes to where and how they live will sleep and if it can continue to see both parents.

It's up to you to explain to your child, in simple and clear terms, what's up. Tell him mom and dad will not live together anymore, but that it will continue to see you both. The most important message your child should receive is that it is always cared for and loved no matter what happens.

Children of kindergarten age do not like changes and losses scare them. Do not be surprised if your child becomes more insecure, starts talking in baby talk again, wants to have his pacifier back or makes other regressions in development. Even nightmares can occur or it could make to bed, although it had actually already dropped the night's worm. It may take a lot of attention from you and others at this difficult time. That is normal. It takes time to recover from such a deep break in his life.

Even the youngest children, however, can be surprisingly robust and adapt quickly to the new situation. How you talk to your child about the separation - before, during, or after the separation - has very different effects on how it cope with it in the longer term. However, once your child learns about separation, reinsurance and endurance through his daily routine are most important.

How do I teach my child the message?

The right time is important

If you and your partner are thinking of separation or divorce, you should keep it to yourself until you are sure. Honesty may seem like the best policy, but if you say that you think about it, you will confuse and worry your child unnecessarily.

Remember that a week is an eternity for a child of this age. It may be best if you let them know as soon as the first consequence of the breakup is pending - for example, if one of the partners moves out in the next few days.So your child does not have to worry about what might happen next - because it knows what's coming.

There's never a ""right"" time for a conversation on this matter. But there is definitely the wrong time, for example if you're taking your child to kindergarten or to bed. Because after such a message your little one suddenly feels insecure and alone and needs you urgently. Choose an appointment where you have time and peace to hug, comfort, cuddle, and reassure your child that you will always be there for it.

Share it with Your Child

Even if you disagree in all things, you should agree on what you want to say to your child - for his sake. It is the ideal case if you tell your child together. This prevents confusion and gives the impression that it is a joint decision. It also helps your child to continue to fully trust both parents.

Just keep it

Use terms you know your kindergartner understands and limit your explanations to a few key phrases. If it has witnessed many arguments, you acknowledge that fact and explain that you are trying to do what is best for the family.

Tell your child it's not his fault

Children can feel guilty about separating their parents, even if they do not say so. Children of kindergarten age have a simplistic way of thinking, and your child might remember that you were discussing because, for example, it was allowed to stay up late one night. Make it absolutely clear that the separation or divorce is a decision of the adults and it has absolutely no guilt.

Avoid Mutual Blame

However annoying and upset you are, do not blame your partner for separating and avoid confronting your child at all costs. Also keep details like a potential affair or financial problems for yourself. This only worries your child unnecessarily.

No Details

Do not make your kitchen table the headquarters of your divorce. Do not try to discuss legal matters, even on the phone, when your child can hear you. Maybe you think it does not understand, but it can be different. And do not let anger or aggression creep into your tone.

Replies to Frequently Asked Questions to Separate Kindergartners


The most common question children of this age have is definitely, do not go into too much detail and keep emphasizing the ""we"" instead of the ""me"". Just tell your child that you and your partner are less well off and therefore believe that a permanent break is best for everyone.Better not say that you no longer love yourself, because your child might then assume that someday it would no longer be loved by you.

""When is dad coming home?""

Your child may not understand that this change is permanent and may long for it all back to normal. Make it clear that daddy will not come back to to live with you, but still have time for it, assure your child that you will both always be his parents and take care of your child. """" I miss Daddy! ""

Even if you think about it relieved that your marriage is over, your child is unlikely to (unless your partner was violent or there were many loud arguments). Do not be offended if you long for the other parent and allow him to be sad. Assure him that his father is not far away and misses it too. Depending on your child's relationship with your ex's family, it may take comforting answers to questions about whether his grandparents will see it again.

""Where will I sleep?""

Your darling may start asking questions about how his life is influenced, whether it's going to have a birthday party and what happens to the dog, for example. but they are important to your child, so you should always answer.

""Who cares about Dad?""

Your child may be worried about the parent who is moving out. Assure him that although his father misses, he will not be sad because he knows he will see it again soon.

Next Steps

Much Love

While your little darling needs to get used to the new situation, he still needs a lot of affection and attention. Resist the temptation to talk about divorce in the presence of your child with other parents on the playground or with your mom over the phone. Instead, give your child more tenderness and an extra goodnight night story. As you now benefit more than ever from your relatives and friends, your child needs extra caresses and kisses from you.

Keep Talking About It

Even after the news has had time to enter consciousness, you should be prepared to go through the same explanations, even weeks and even months after that. You can keep your child open to conversation by reading books on divorce.

Stick to the Routine

Sticking to the normal routine at Mama's and Dad's house will give him the feeling of security. It will help him cope with all the other changes in his life, making sure he eats properly and gets plenty of sleep.

Look for signs of trouble

It may be hard for your little child to adjust to commuting between households.Signs of problems can be a stubborn behavior or a withdrawal within oneself - especially after a visit to the other parent. Or maybe your child just needs time to adjust from one home to the other, or has to let off some steam. Let it know that you understand that it is sad or annoying, and embrace it to calm and comfort it.

Do not Make Your Child a Spy

When your child comes home after a visit, you should resist the temptation to ask what the other parent did or said. No matter how curious you are, do not make your son or daughter an ally in combat.

Stay Optimistic

Even if your divorce means you have to fight financially (a little) and your child can no longer have all the toys or exclusive vacations you should let them know that they will still be together Have fun - just not expensive.

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