For those Maple Grove parents contemplating or amidst a divorce, the first thought is usually of how the children will react. For any child whether three or 25 years old, news of a parent's divorce can be a shattering moment in their life. Teenagers and young adults may not welcome news of a parent's divorce, but often it can be understood as to why the parents are deciding to split up. For a young child this concept can be a bit over their head.
When it comes to breaching this topic with a toddler or kindergarten-aged child, it is suggested to be united in your message. For example, both parents should try to sit down with the child together in order to explain the decision to divorce. When presenting a united front, the child will see that the parents both agree that it is in everyone's best interests that they are no longer married. Also, it is not recommended that either parent bash the other in front of the child since it just puts them in the middle of a grown-up argument.
It is important for parents to remember that when kids are involved they are an innocent party in the middle of an adult conflict. Sometimes divorce mediation is a great way to help ease the communication barrier between divorcing parents. The less stress that exists between the divorcing couple, the less negative animosity that can possibly be expressed in front of a kid. Taking a joint approach when breaking the news of divorce is often in the child's best interest, but working together to finalize pertinent divorce issues can be just as beneficial to the child.
There are many reasons parents worry about the effect a divorce may have on their child. However, all is not lost. If parents love and support the child from separate homes, often the child can still feel complete and successfully adapt to this life change. There may be an intermittent period of uncertainty or stress during the change, however, parents should have faith and keep a positive attitude with the mindset that everything will turn out alright.
Source: The Huffington Post, "How to explain divorce to a 3 year-old?" Sep. 21, 2015