What Will My Children Understand About Divorce? Ages Three to Eleven

July 12th, 2016

For most, a major concern about divorcing in Portland OR is how to communicate with the children to help them understand divorce and process any emotions that they have in a healthy way.

You may be wondering what exactly your child understands about divorce. In this two part series, we’ll provide you with an age-by-age synopsis of your child’s level of understanding and how you can help.

3 to 6 Years

Preschoolers are all about control. No matter what, they won’t comprehend or like your divorce because they are not in control of it, even if your home is an unhappy place. Their nature is to be self-centered, so they may even believe that your divorce is their fault. They will need lots of reassurance that the divorce is not their fault, a consistent visitation schedule with their non-custodial parent, and

elementary aged child and mom6 to 11 Years

Younger elementary aged children probably will not understand the concept of divorce and may feel as if their parents are divorcing him and attempt to rescue your marriage.

Older kids understand the divorce and will probably feel loss and rejection. They may attempt to align themselves with one parent or another.

Explain that the divorce was a mutual decision, and will not effect your relationship with her and avoid blaming the other parent for the divorce. Most importantly, encourage them to share their feelings and listen without judgement.

More in the series:

What Will My Kids Understand About Our Divorce? Ages Birth to Three

If you are in the Portland OR area and are contemplating a divorce, contact Ronald Johnston. He has over 35 years of experience with divorces involving children.

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