Telling your children you’re divorcing their other parent is never easy, and kids of different ages – and of different personality types – will take the news differently. So how do you explain divorce to a preschooler? This guide offers some helpful tips.
How to Explain Divorce to a Preschooler
If you’re like most parents, your primary concern is your child’s well-being – and that may mean that you’re agonizing over how to tell your little one that you and their other parent are splitting up. The bottom line is that preschoolers don’t understand the idea of divorce, and they generally don’t want their parents to separate (even if there’s a lot of family tension, fighting and arguing). Preschoolers are just learning about control (and how they can exert control over their own environments), so the thought of being out of control can be stressful, frightening and confusing for them.
Related: What to know before you divorce
Preschoolers may feel uncertain about the future when their parents divorce, so you should give them as much comfort as possible. Reassure your child that no matter what happens between you and your spouse, you’ll both always love and parent your child.
It’s also a good idea for you and your spouse to sit down together to answer your child’s questions, as well as to discuss his or her feelings. Often, preschool-aged kids reflect their parents’ moods and attitudes, so they’ll take cues from you and your spouse on how to act – and that means remaining calm and confident whenever your child wants to talk about the split.
Related: How does divorce affect kids?
Sometimes books can help preschoolers cope, too. Two Homes by Claire Masurel, My Family’s Changing by Pat Thomas, and Standing on My Own Two Feet by Tamara Schmitz may all be helpful for your child.
Do You Need to Talk to a Wisconsin Divorce Attorney?
If you’re contemplating divorce and aren’t sure where to start, or if you have specific questions, we may be able to help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 to speak with an attorney about your situation. We can give you the case-specific legal advice you need to begin moving forward with your life.