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Age-based strategies can lessen divorce impacts for your children

On Behalf of | Feb 12, 2024 | Divorce

Informing your children about a divorce is a difficult task that can significantly affect their emotional well-being. How you handle this sensitive conversation can greatly influence how your children manage the changes ahead.

To make this process smoother, adapt your approach according to your children’s ages and understand their needs.

Young children

For young children aged 0 to 6, divorce can be confusing and distressing. They may not fully grasp the concept and may primarily worry about losing one or both parents. To ease this announcement, use simple language to explain.

Avoid overwhelming them with too much information. Reassure them that both parents will continue to love and care for them, even if they will not live together.

Keeping a consistent daily routine can provide stability during this uncertain time.

Middle childhood

In the middle childhood phase, between ages 7 to 12, children have a better understanding of divorce but may still struggle emotionally. They might even feel responsible for the breakup. To help them cope, be honest about the situation but avoid placing blame on either parent.

Encourage open conversations, allowing them to ask questions and express their feelings. Remember to show patience and empathy in your responses.

Maintain their regular activities and friendships to create a sense of normalcy.


For adolescents, aged 13 to 18, who typically comprehend divorce better, the impact can be profound, leading to a range of emotions like anger, sadness and confusion. To announce the divorce more effectively, respect their need for independence and involve them in discussions about where they will live and their schedules.

Acknowledge and validate their feelings, creating a non-judgmental space for them to express themselves. If they struggle to cope with the emotional effects of the divorce, consider seeking professional counseling or therapy.

Timing matters

Timing plays an important role in minimizing emotional distress and helping children adjust. Pick a moment when the atmosphere is calm and conducive to open communication. Avoid times of heightened stress or during significant life events.

By choosing the right moment, you can provide your children with a more stable and supportive environment during this challenging transition.

Put your children first

Parental divorce is distressing for many children, so try to focus on what they need to help them navigate the complexities of divorce and feel more emotionally secure.

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