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Divorce is hard for everyone involved: you, your ex-spouse, and your children. It is especially hard for the children because they might not fully understand why their family is splitting up. They’ll have a lot of questions and a lot of emotions, including guilt.  Kids, particularly young ones, might think that they are the reason their dad left or that they are to blame for their parents divorce for really silly and illogical reasons.

 For example, Sadie spilled hot cocoa on the new carpet and her parents fought over whether or not to pay to have it cleaned. Later that week, they sat her down to tell her that dad would be moving out.  Sadie may wrongly conclude that her clumsiness was the cause for her family to split up.  It is essential that you and your ex-spouse stress to your child that there is nothing he did that caused the divorce and that none of the blame falls on him.

 

This needs to be explained to your child right at the initial discussion about separation/divorce and repeated over and over after that. Although parents are going through their own emotional roller coaster, it is vital that they take care of their own emotional  needs so that they can be the best parents to their children. parent-talking-to-child.jpg

 

Apologizing to your child is also helpful to do when you are ensuring them that they do not hold any of the blame for your divorce. When you apologize, you acknowledge that you are aware that the divorce hurts your child and that you do feel bad about causing your child any kind of emotional pain. They will appreciate this and more importantly, it will help them deal with the changes around them.