Criminal Defense And High-Stakes Divorce In Georgia Requires Grit And Local Insight

Aerial View of Lake Oconee

Why do children think they caused divorce?

On Behalf of | Mar 17, 2024 | High Asset Divorce

If you’re a parent who is moving toward a divorce, you are probably thinking about how you should tell your children. It’s a complicated conversation, depending on their age, and can be rather difficult. 

When looking for tips regarding how to approach this conversation, one piece of advice that you often see is that you should assure your children that the divorce is not their fault. Make sure you stress that they did not cause it and that they are not the reason that their parents are splitting up.

But parents may be surprised that their children would think about this at all. As parents, they know that the divorce was obviously caused by other issues, such as financial conflicts, extramarital affairs, growing apart over time or something else entirely. Why would children even blame themselves to begin with?

Magical thinking

Children sometimes do this because they engage in magical thinking. This is where they believe that they can influence the world around them with their thoughts. Adults grow out of this belief, but it is very real to children. If a child was angry with a parent and said or thought something they now regret, for instance, they may think that outburst is the reason for the divorce. 

Additionally, children are very used to the cause-and-effect relationship regarding their actions. In other areas of life, if things go wrong, children may assume that they’ve made a mistake or done something incorrectly. They could make the same assumption about something like a divorce, believing they must have done something wrong even though it is clearly out of their control.

It’s wise to put your children first while getting divorced. Be sure you understand all of your legal options to do so.