Families Change
Parent Guide to Separation & Divorce

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How can we talk about problems?

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You can solve problems sometimes by talking through them with your children. But there will always be things that you just can’t change, like your divorce. This will be hard for your kids to handle. This section will help you talk to them about the things you can and cannot change.

You can help your child understand their feelings about a situation by listening and asking questions.

  • Try to move from general questions to specific questions.
  • For example, if your child says they’re scared of moving, you can ask “What is it about the move that is worrying you?”

Your kids might not always know why they’re worried. If you ask them questions, it will help them think things through. Be patient with them, and let them figure things out for themselves.

  • If your child has had some time to think and still isn’t sure what they’re feeling, you can make some suggestions.
  • You could try, “Could it be that you will miss having your own room?”

When you figure out what a problem is, you can move on to problem solving.

  • For example: You and your child figure out that what they’re really worried about is having a private place for some special personal things.
  • Then the two of you can brainstorm ideas.
  • When you’re brainstorming, anything goes! No idea is too silly.
  • Try to let your child come up with most of the ideas.
  • Together you will find a solution that can work.

Not all children will want to talk about their feelings. Don’t push them into talking. Tell them you’re there for them, and show your love with a hug.

You will probably make mistakes, and that’s OK! If you’re trying to help your children understand and express their feelings, your positive approach will outweigh any little mistakes. You might even be able to use these same steps to help work through your own feelings