Divorce: How To Tell The KidsNovember 24, 2014
Getting a divorce is never easy on any of the people involved, including the entire family. When a marriage happens, two families come together and celebrate the couples undying love and commitment to each other. When divorce happens, it is considered a major loss to the couple and can end up being quite damaging to the entire family if there are other circumstances that caused the divorce to occur.
If you have children and you need to break the news to them about how mommy and daddy are getting a divorce, here are some helpful tips to get you started.
Be Honest With Them
This doesn't mean telling them how their other parent cheated or how their other parent fell out of love with you. Being honest with your kids about the divorce means to be direct about the changes that will happen. Don't say mommy is going away for awhile or going on a trip. Avoid telling them that it is only temporary if you know it is final. Don't set your children up for further disappointment and upset. The more honest you are with them, the more they will have the opportunity to heal from the family breakup down the road.
Be Sensitive, Be Gentle
If you aren't that great at sharing your feelings or expressing emotions, you must truly try to be warm with your kids. Don't blurt out that you and mommy are getting a divorce in an argument before they head off to school and don't just say it casually and without feeling. Show your children that this is very difficult for both of you to experience and that even though you are going to be leading separate lives, that you will always respect each other. On the other side of the coin, don't be overly emotional about the divorce as your kids need to know you will be there for them and not fall apart as time goes on.
It Has Nothing To Do With Them
It is essential that parents clearly state that the divorce has absolutely nothing to do with them. Kids tend to blame their parent's divorce on themselves. It is important to tell them that the reasons for your divorce do not include them and that even though you are splitting up, you are still a family and always will be.
Don't Bring The Kids Into Your Drama
Some parents involve their kids too much when they announce they are getting a divorce. Let them know about the divorce and be honest about the changes that will happen, but do not involve them any further. No speaking behind your partners back to the kids and no putting your partner down in front of the kids. Do not ask your child to pass lawyer's letters to your ex-partner and do not ask your child to tell your ex this or that.
When kids are overly involved in a divorce, they have little chance of recovery over the long run. Allow them to still be kids and try to remain respectful to your ex for them.