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Kids need honesty and openness to deal with divorce

By nature, children tend to be selfish and self-absorbed. This is why, more often than not, kids are surprised and thrown off-guard when their parents announce that they have decided to divorce. But even if they see the split coming, adjusting to the changes it brings can be difficult for children of any age.

So how can parents help their kids deal with their divorce? Overall, the most important thing is that you remain open and honest with your children. They will probably have a lot of questions about the divorce and its causes and effects. While you certainly do not want to get into the nasty details of what caused your split, don't sugarcoat anything, either. This will help them feel more included in the family and its decisions and better connected to you.

When fielding these questions, it is best if you and your spouse sit down with your children and talk to them together. Honestly discuss the things in their lives that will change following the split, and continually reinforce that your love for them is not one of those things.

In addition, it is important that you never talk badly about your spouse in the presence of your children. This will make them feel like they need to pick sides, and ultimately lead to greater difficulty in adjusting to the divorce.

Finally, allow your child to feel whatever it is that they are feeling, whether it be grief, anger, annoyance or frustration. Be understanding of those emotions and make sure your child knows that they are perfectly natural.

Source: GetHolisticHealth.com, "How to Help Your Kids Through Divorce," Brandon Greiman, Aug. 7, 2012

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