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Helping preschoolers process parental divorce

Parents in Minnesota who find themselves facing an impending divorce know that at some point they will need to break the news to their children. This may be one of the hardest conversations they will ever have but it must be done. What to say to a child about a divorce depends in large part on the child's age and stage of emotional development. When it comes to preschoolers, less can be more.

As explained by Today's Parent, children between two and five years old will need very basic and concrete explanations. Moms and dads should avoid discussing any problems between themselves and instead clearly and lovingly tell their children what to expect in their lives. For example, letting them know that they will still go to the same school and which parent will pick them up and which parent will drop them off is important for these youngsters.

HealthyChildren.org, a website of the American Academy of Pediatrics, adds that parents can and should reassure children that they are loved and will continue to be loved just as much as ever by both parents. Parents can overtly tell these children that the changes that will be happening are not because of anything the children did or did not do.

Parents of preschoolers will also need to be prepared for multiple discussions on the topic of their divorce as repetition is essential for these kids. Just like they may read the same story over and over again, they will need to answer the same questions about the divorce repeatedly.

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