Divorce can be stressful, sad, and confusing for children. At any age, children may have feelings of uncertainty or be angry at the prospect of their mom and dad not being together anymore. I make it a point to discuss with kids in grades 5-8 about divorce. Getting students to open up can be difficult, but asking guiding questions and being patient is key. It is important that students have someone they can trust and I am glad to be there for them.
I created Divorce Cards to ask students questions about how they are feeling about their parent’s divorce.
I came up with scenarios that allow kids to give each other advice on how they would handle the situation or explain how they might feel if they were in that situation.
The key to talking about divorce is to be straightforward and truthful. Kids sometimes need answers that only their parents can provide, but as a counselor, you can help them to formulate the questions they are wanting answers to. Reinforcing the fact that they are not the cause of the divorce and that their parents didn’t leave because they are not loved anymore is very important. Let them grieve the loss and express their feelings openly. It is important to remember that recovering and healing is a process…it will not happen overnight. However, as counselors, perhaps we can make the transition a little easier.
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