When you’re going to have a divorce, it can be hard to imagine how you’re going to explain it to your child. This is particularly true when your child is young. A child who is only 3 or 4 years old may not fully understand what a divorce is.
They may think that it’s like a vacation or a break and that their parents will live together again in the future. Your life as it has been is all they know, so they don’t always grasp that there are other possibilities.
How can you talk to your toddler to help them understand divorce?
1. Talk about new homes
The first step is to sit down and explain that mom and dad are going to live in different homes. This is a fairly simple concept because children have likely visited various homes by this age. Explain that you and your child’s other parent won’t live together but that they will visit both places.
2. Talk about divorce together
You and your spouse can make a better impression by talking about divorce with your child together. Explain that you both are still there for them, but also explain that you’d like to live separately. Be positive, and explain that some people get along better when they have more space.
3. Be encouraging
Finally, be encouraging. Make sure your child knows that they come first, no matter how the situation changes.
Your child comes first, so be clear about a divorce with simple terms and explanations. Over time, they will understand better, but for now, provide support as they adjust.