Getting Divorced: How to Explain It to Your 5 Year Old
One of the hardest things that parents who are about to divorce have to do is to tell their children about the unfortunate breakup. This is especially true when their children are still very young, such as 5-year-olds. Children who are at this, younger, or a bit older still cannot fully grasp such situations, which is why parents need to be careful and gentle in breaking the news. So how exactly do you explain your upcoming divorce to your 5-year-old son or daughter?
There is a big difference between how adults and children perceive divorce. Parents, seeing that they are the adults in the situation, understand that this is a complex situation they have been involved in. Young children, including 5-year-olds, have a more concrete view for it. So understanding where your 5-year-old is at, in terms of developmental aspects, will help them cope up with the gravity of the situation. The following are the most important considerations you have to make and remember:
• Their dependence on their parents and/or caregivers
• Lack of ability to grasp complex situations and events
• Lack of ability to anticipate the future or have a complete understanding of their emotions and feelings
• Are starting to gain independence but still need to be very dependent
• Limited understanding of causes and effects, resulting in their inability to think of what the future holds for them
• Still does not have a complete grasp of what fantasy and reality is
• Lack of ability to talk about their feelings, despite having some ability to actually think about them
Now that you know these extremely important factors that you need to consider before sharing the news of your upcoming divorce to your five-year-old son/daughter, you can now come up with a plan of how to carefully and gently tell your child that you and your husband/wife will no longer live together. Make sure that you tell your kid that, despite of his/her dad and mom no longer living under the same roof, both still love him/her very much.