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Effective communication with kids during divorce is crucial

Your children are important to you. You take care of them every day. You are their teacher, their hero and provider. Divorce introduces a massive change for both you and your children. Divorce affects young children and teens differently. According to Psychology Today, divorce can amplify the dependence of young children and accelerate the independence of teens.

Telling your children about divorce and talking to them throughout the process can be difficult. You may not know how to start or what to expect.

Don't tell your kids until there is no doubt.

You may be at a rough patch in your marriage. Divorce may be the solution. If it is just an option that is being considered, it may be best to wait to tell your children. Young children can become confused if you decide not to follow through with the process after you've told them. Teens often feel guilty when parents divorce. If you go back on your word, they could feel betrayed.

Be unified with your spouse. If possible, talk to them together.

You and your spouse are getting the divorce; the two of you aren't divorcing your children. You won't be a couple, but you will both still be parents. It is good to have a plan about what you will say to your children. It is important that you don't make them feel as if they have to choose sides. Keep any disputes or ill will out of sight.

Acknowledge their emotions, and allow your children to feel them.

You don't want to see your child upset. The news of divorce will likely do just that. You may see a variety of emotions and behaviors. Acknowledge their feelings and do what you can to help them cope. Remember that the process will likely be different for your younger children than it will for your teens.

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