Divorce: How and when to tell the kids - the dos

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A mum comforting a child
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The dos

  • Try to get each child on his or her own and out of earshot of the others. This should be one-to-one or two-to-one (with both parents there) if possible, so that they feel free to ask questions and have your complete attention.
  • Be loving an affectionate - recognise and accept their pain (but don't anticipate or encourage it if it's not there)
  • Reassure them that you'll both stay part of their lives
  • Promise them that you'll never stop them seeing and spending time with each of their parents
  • Be prepared to answer their questions and also for their refusal to talk about it
  • Be ready to come back to the subject when they're ready
  • Make what you say age appropriate
  • Be there for them: choose a time when you don't have to rush off to do something else
  • Let them be by themselves if they want to be: some children will want to grieve in private before they're ready to talk to you
  • Be as honest as you can be with them. It's good to let them know you're upset but try to cut out the bitterness you feel

More help and advice

- Tips for dealing with separation
- How to survive a break-up
- Divorce - what happens next?
- Parentline Plus' tips on coping with divorce and separation

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  1. 1. Divorce: How and when to tell the kids
  1. 2. Divorce: How and when to tell the kids - the dos

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