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How do I tell my child about my divorce or separation?

There are few tasks a parent will face as difficult as telling their child that mum and dad are getting divorced. But with each passing year, more and more mothers and fathers are having to do just that.

There is no right and wrong way to break this earth shattering news to your child but there are certain guidelines you should follow:

Don’t wait too long
Try to tell you child as early as possible. She needs time to adjust to this dramatic change well before it actually happens i.e. Someone move out, the house is sold and so on.

She needs certainty
Although you should tell your child about the divorce at an early stage, it’s best to wait until you’re in a position to tell her exactly what’s going to happen. Children need certainty in their lives at the best of times but never more so than during this difficulty period.

Do it together
If at all possible, it’s better to tell your child together. Even if you can’t stand the sight of him anymore, you should make the effort for your son or daughter. Breaking the news together helps the child realise that divorce doesn't mean that she is going to lose either of you.

Don’t go into too much detail
Your child should know the basic facts but there's no point going into substantial detail. It will be hard enough for them to deal with the initial shock without being faced with more potentially distressing information. There will be plenty time in the future to explain everything if you so desire.

Reassurance is the key
Children of all ages need reassurance from time to time but when faced with the divorce of their parents they need it desperately. You must make it clear to them that in no way is any of this their fault. Reassure them that they will always have two parents who love them very much.

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