Online guide tips for family divorce how tell the children
Divorce touches nearly half of our families. It is highly likely that your child associates with many children from single parent or blended families. But, it is different when it is your family being torn apart by the fallout from divorce.
Before you sit down with the kids, talk with your spouse about the strategy and how your will break the news and field questions.
When you tell your kids about divorce, it is best if both parents can be present. It should be discussed openly on a fact basis. Try to keep the emotion out of the conversation. There should be no blame given in this conversation. It is important, however, to let them know how you arrived at this decision.
It is important to emphasis it is not the child’s fault for the break up. They need to understand there is nothing they did to cause or could have done to prevent this situation. It is not uncommon for kids to take the blame for the situation and internalize the pain.
Discuss the upcoming changes in routine and living arrangements that the child will be facing. Changes in routine can be unsettling to children. Keep changes to a minimum when possible.
Be forthcoming about the living arrangements for the parent that is moving out. Talk about the schedule to see that parent on a regular basis. Encourage them to see that parent as often as possible. Reassure them that your love for them has not changed.
Be careful about making promises about the future that might be kept. Be as general as possible until details are ironed out and more is known about what the new arrangements will look like.
Allow them to express their feelings. You may need to give them time to process this news. It is not uncommon for kids to have no reaction when the news is initially shared with them. If they are younger, they may need help articulating their thoughts and feelings. Be patient with them and continue to reassure them of your unconditional love.
This is a tough time for kids. Be patient and continually re-enforce your love and commitment to them. Despite your feelings towards your spouse, it is imperative you to not share negative feelings or place blame in front of your kids. Be supportive of the kids continuing a strong relationship with your spouse after he leaves home. Allow time for grieving as your child processes this news.