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Separation and Divorce

How to help children deal with divorce or separation

Separation may involve bad feelings between the parents and their families. Children can pick up on this, which may make them confused or unhappy – or even blame themselves for a break-up.

 

To support children during a separation and help them with their worries, you should:

  • remind them that they're loved by both parents
  • be honest when talking about it but keep in mind the child's age and understanding
  • avoid blame and don't share any negative feelings the adults have about each other
  • keep up routines such as going to school and specific meal times
  • let them know they can talk about their feelings with you – explain that it's okay to be sad, confused or angry
  • listen more than you speak – answering questions will help them to open up.
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There are lots of ways to make it a bit less painful when talking to children about divorce or any other difficult subject. We’ve got more advice for parents in our guide for talking about difficult topics.

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