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3 tips for talking to your child about divorce

There is one thing that you have to remember when you divorce and you and your partner have children: It's impossible to hide the divorce from them, even if they're young. You might think your toddler won't remember the divorce, and that might be true in the future. Unfortunately, your toddler does know what's happening now, so you have to address it by talking about divorce with your child.

Talking to your child about divorce might seem like a strain you're not ready for, and you might not know where to begin. Remember that it's okay to keep the discussion age-appropriate. You don't have to go into the nitty-gritty of your decisions, but you do need to explain what is happening.

What should you do before you talk to your children about divorce?

1. Start by writing down what you want to say if you're worried about talking about inappropriate or age-inappropriate topics. Write down what you'd like your child to know and have a few questions ready to ask. Write down simple answers to questions your child might have, so you're prepared.

2. Before you talk to your child, make sure you're not going to get back together with your child's other parent. It's hard enough on a child to understand when his or her parents break up.

3. Finally, take the time to schedule your talk. You don't want to rush it in the time before the bus comes in the morning or talk right before bed. Make sure you have at least an hour or two to field questions from your child. If it takes less time, that's great, but you need to know you're not going to rush through the discussion.

By taking time to talk to your child, you can make the situation clear for him or her. Be prepared to answer questions, and know that your child will adjust to these changes.

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