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Tips for communicating with children about divorce

Couples that chose to end their marriage and divorce face many complex decisions and difficult conversations. Some of the most emotional and heart-wrenching discussions are often those involving the children. How a couple chooses to discuss their decision to divorce with their children can go a long way to avoid future conflict and problems.

Depending on a child's age, they likely have some knowledge of divorce. They may have friends whose parents are divorced and have some pre-conceived notions of what divorce means and how their lives may be impacted. For the sake of the children, divorcing couples must put on a united front and sit down to honestly address questions and concerns their children likely have.

Any disruption in a child's daily routine may be viewed as a negative and undermine their sense of security. Therefore, it's imperative that parents try to come to some consensus prior to speaking with their children regarding living arrangements and visitation plans so they can honestly and effectively communicate these terms to the children.

Regardless of true circumstances, it's also very important that parents present their decision to divorce as being a mutual one void of blame. Above all, parents need to reiterate their love for their children and let them know they bear no responsibility for the divorce. Clearly communicating with children can help lessen feelings of confusion and anger and potentially mitigate additional problems down the road.

Obviously, divorce can be a difficult and confusing time for children. It may be difficult for children to adjust to different living arrangements, new schools and stringent visitation plans. While Tennessee parents should be prepared for some difficult times ahead, open and honest communication can go a long way in helping children of divorce adjust and cope.

Source: The Huffington Post, "How To Tell Your Kids You're Divorcing," Deborah Moskovitch, Mar. 23, 2012

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