Opening up the discussion on divorce can be difficult, and a hard pill to swallow for your children. There are a lot o variables that come into play, but you can help put their minds at ease and keep a peaceful home during the transition. It’s important for them to know that it isn’t their fault; utilize these divorce tips to talk to you children appropriately.
When we’re still in the midst of talking about divorce with our partner, your child may overhear a conversation or have questions. It’s best to be honest with them. If a child asks a question, answer it, and do not over-explain; they don’t need to know intimate details. We would all like to focus on the task at hand, and simply say, “Not right now” to our children, but that’s only going to exclude them and make them feel unimportant.
Even if you’ve been in this battle for a while, and it actually is the fault of your spouse, don’t blast their name around in front of your children. Those are chats for you and your friends to have, a therapist, or your lawyer. If you’re painting their name with hate, your children are going to retain that negativity, and in turn, they could even resent you. If your spouse isn’t speaking poorly of you, then it puts you in a bad light and your children will pick up on that.
Many times, we skip having conversations that could save us a lot of grief. This also applies to divorce. If you and your child don’t talk about how it’s affecting them, they may hold onto those feelings for a very long time. Ask them what they’re thinking, how it’s making them feel, and ensure that you legitimize what they feel, even if you don’t agree with it. They are entitled to their opinions and emotions; they are also entitled to a parent who can help them even when the other one isn’t around.
There’s no right time to tell them. They may feel hurt, they will definitely feel confused, but children are slightly emotionally underdeveloped, and they are certainly entitled to have bad days. When you put those together, and then disclose the news of your divorce, it could make them react more poorly than they normally would.
It’s not easy on anyone, but there’s a certain power in your hands. You can maintain a positive environment during this difficult time, you just have to be proactive.