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Why might children think they caused divorce?

On Behalf of | Feb 27, 2024 | family law |

It is very important to carefully think about the conversation you have with your children regarding an upcoming divorce. They may view it much differently than you do, and they may have questions you would never think of. It’s good to give them a chance to talk so that they can ask these questions and you can provide answers, guidance and support.

One thing that many experts point out is that it’s important to assure children that the divorce isn’t their fault. They didn’t cause it. But many parents think that this is already quite obvious and they would never even imagine that their children are concerned. Why would children have this fear of causing a divorce?

It could be due to magical thinking

One potential reason is a phenomenon known as magical thinking. This is often identified in children, and it can be harmless. Children just believe that their thoughts impact the real world in ways that adults do not.

For example, a child may believe that holding their favorite stuffed animal ensures that the monster under their bed won’t bother them during the night. Parents know that there is no monster and that, if there was, a stuffed animal would not be beneficial. But these beliefs are very real to the child, in the same way that they may worry that their actions, thoughts or words led to their parents’ divorce.

Your legal rights

Getting divorced as parents can also be difficult because you have to divide physical custody, along with decision-making power. If this gets contentious during your divorce, it is crucial that you understand exactly what legal steps you can take.