Divorce_Talk_Children_Mamashealth

When a marriage fails, kids are always affected. No matter how good your justifications are for your decision to split up, your child might have a strong desire to keep his or her family intact. Consider your child’s thoughts and feelings.

Below are some tips on how both you and your child can deal with divorce:

  • Communication is very important –Share some information with your children. They don’t need to know the intimate details of your divorce, but share with them as much as you can without causing them to  dislike their mother or father.
  • It’s not their fault – Children of divorce tend to blame themselves and feel less loved. Explain to them that they did not cause the divorce.
  • Closure – Tell them your marriage is over. This may sound like your being one as a family has ended but it hasn’t. Console them by making room for bonding during special occasions or school plays or soccer
    games.
  • Time heals – Your child might have a hard time letting go.  Be patient with them. Time will help them better understand and cope.

Lessons in Change – As the old saying goes, life is a constant change. Help your children realize that no matter how hard we try to keep things as they are, changes will occur and we have to accept the changes. After you and your spouse decide to get a divorce, the next big step is to tell your children.  Here are some tips to help you tell your children about the decision to divorce or separate.

Agree on what you both will say.

  • It is best for both parents to take time to talk about what you are going to you’re your children before you sit down to talk with them.  Try to have the same story about why you are divorcing and not contradict, blame, or argue with one another in front of the kids.

Do it as a couple.

  • Try to have this conversation with the entire family present. Some spouses will not be cooperative or amicable enough to do this, so you and your soon-to-be-ex may have to have separate conversations with your children. Do not blame or talk badly about the other parent.

Don’t wait. 

  • Tell them shortly before any changes are made such as a few days before you or your spouse moves out.

Don’t confuse them.

  • Let them know how their lives will change but be patient with them. Do your best to make sure they are not burdened about where they will live, who they will live with, where they will go to school, and who will care for the pets.

Respect their feelings. 

  • Be certain to make sure they understand that they did not cause the divorce. Many children will feel sad and believe that they caused the divorce.

Encourage your children to ask questions.

  • Let them ask questions after your initial conversation and let them know that they can always ask more questions whenever they need to.

Delivering the news of a divorce is never easy. It is often hard to cope with, especially for your children who most likely will be shocked, overwhelmed, and saddened by the news of your divorce.  You can help your children deal with the news by giving them a little extra love, attention, and affection.  Ask a school counselor, a relative who is close with your child, social worker, support group, or mental health professional to help support your children through this difficult time. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from others. Your friends, family, and members of a support group can provide a lot of love and support.