Helping Children Understand Divorce (MU Extension)

Understand DivorceFrom MU Extension at the University of Missouri-Columbia, the purpose of this resource is to provide parents and other adults with guidance on how to help children understand their parents’ divorce.  It includes information on how to tell children about divorce and how to talk with children about divorce.  From the child’s perspective, this resource includes a list of six things that kids need from mom and dad in the face of a divorce.  It also includes suggestion on specific books you can use to help kids understand divorce along with a brief description of each book.

All of those are great resources, but the most useful tool included in this publication is a two page pamphlet that lays out information about divorce for each age/stage of development for a child (infants, toddlers, preschool and early elementary and preteens and adolescents).  For each stage, the pamphlet includes information on what the child understands at that age, children’s thoughts and feelings and what parents can do for children at each age.